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Monday, December 16, 2013

IDF soldier Shlomi Cohen killed in Lebanon border shooting

An IDF soldier was killed Sunday while driving near the Israel-Lebanon border, as a result of gunfire from Lebanon.

The soldier was driving in an IDF vehicle by himself. Reportedly, regulations require that military personnel patrol the area with back up, never alone.

According to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar network, Lebanese security posts sustained retaliatory gunfire from the Israeli side of the border following reports of the IDF soldier's death.

The IDF said the Lebanese soldier fired 6-7 bullets and most likely shot "of his own accord."
Satellite television channel Al-Manar, a network affiliated with Hezbollah, reported that contact was lost with a Lebanese soldier amid the clashes.
UNIFIL has reportedly contacted Israel and Lebanon following the incident. "We are now trying to determine the facts of what happened and the situation is ongoing," UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti said. "UNIFIL's force commander is in contact with counterparts in the Lebanese and Israeli army, urging restraint."
Tenenti said that both sides were cooperating with UNIFIL after the incident, which he said appeared to have happened on the Israeli side of the Blue Line dividing Lebanese and Israeli forces.

Aircraft-assisted forces are scouring the area to rule out infiltration.

According to reports, the shooting took place where four IDF soldiers sustained injuries as a result of an explosion back in August.

According to a preliminary investigation, an IDF vehicle was targeted with gunfire from beyond the border with Lebanon, most likely by a Lebanese soldier who fired several bullets.

The IDF detected Lebanese troops near scene of the shooting.

According to a senior military source: "The circumstances have yet to be determined, but this is serious."

The source noted there was no indication of infiltration by terrorists.

The IDF has called up numerous forces to the border area near the scene of the incident.

Meanwhile, Lebanese media outlets report that Hezbollah is on ready-alert in southern Lebanon as a precautionary measure in case of developments on the border.

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