A Lebanese security official said Saturday residents of a southern village have prevented UN peacekeeping forces from searching an abandoned building near a suspected Hizbullah weapons depot that recently exploded.
The official said dozens of villagers in Bir el-Salasel surrounded UN vehicles Saturday and ordered the peacekeepers to leave. He spoke on condition of anonymity.
14 troops were injured when about 100 residents assaulted them, Israel Radio reported. When the troops called for backup, the backup team was fired upon by the residents. The multinational force said the residents' behavior constituted a severe violation of UN Resolution 1701, the August 2006 resolution that put an end to the Second Lebanon War.
The village is close to Khirbet Silim, the site of Tuesday's explosion in an abandoned building about 15 kilometers from the Israeli border. Hizbullah has strong support among the area's population.
UN peacekeepers had no immediate comment on the incident, and Hizbullah has remained silent since the explosion occurred.
Earlier, UNIFIL peacekeepers boosted their forces along the southern Lebanese border, hours after a group of 15 Lebanese civilians carrying Lebanese and Hizbullah flags crossed into Israel.
The group, which included several children, entered Israel via the northern border with Lebanon where there is no border fence, and returned to the Lebanese side of the border after several minutes.
IDF troops spotted the group, and seeing that it was unarmed, decided not to take action.
Nonetheless, the army stressed that the incident was a violation of UNSC Resolution 1701.
"Any individual who crosses the border must consider the possibility of getting hurt," the IDF said in a statement. The military would file a complaint with UN over the violation, Israel Radio reported Saturday evening.
Earlier Friday, Hizbullah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah accused Israel of being "a racist state."
In a televised speech, he said that Israel had been "placed at the heart" of the Middle East, and decried its "respect from the whole world."
"The whole world expresses its understanding of [Israel's] brutality, and its killing of thousands," he went on. "The G8, the UN Security Council, and the entire world express their understanding" for alleged Israeli abuses.
Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti newspaper A Siyassa reported on Saturday that the explosion which occurred in southern Lebanon earlier in the week killed a number of Hizbullah gunmen at a secret military outpost, and did not destroy a hidden weapons depot as was initially stated.
"The geographical layout of the area where the outpost was situated, as well as its relative proximity to the border proves that it could not be an arms depot, but rather an outpost on the front lines," a military source defined as "credible" told the paper.
On Wednesday, the IDF released video footage taken from an Israeli aircraft, showing a home that had exploded on Tuesday in the village of Hirbet Selm - located some 20 kilometers north of the Lebanese border. The roof is seen in the footage with dozens of holes, which IDF ballistic experts said were the size of 122-mm. Katyusha rockets.
However, the Kuwaiti paper claimed that the weapons which exploded in the area included short range anti-tank missiles, and anti-tank mines. They made no mention of longer range rockets.
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