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Israeli artillery strikes Lebanon following rocket fire

English.news.cn   2013-12-29 18:27:01            

JERUSALEM, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli-Lebanese border flared Sunday morning as rockets fired from southern Lebanon hit Israel's border town of Kiryat Shmona and the Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Four Katyusha rockets were fired toward Kiryat Shmona, two of which exploded in open areas west of the town, while another two missed their target and exploded in Lebanese territory, Israeli media reported.

Residents of Kiryat Shmona, which had been targeted by hundreds of Katyusha rockets since late 1970s, reported hearing powerful blasts, followed by smoke rising from a ridge overlooking the town, where a projectile had apparently set fire to some bushes.

"We woke up to the sounds of rockets this morning. Residents are going to work as normal, and will be notified of changes if necessary," Kiryat Shmona Mayor Nissim Malka told Channel 2 TV.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket attack, and no injuries or damage were reported.

Israeli forces in the area swiftly responded with intense artillery fire towards the location from which the rockets were launched.

More than 20 Israeli shells struck a mountainous region near the border area of Rachaya in southern Lebanon, the Ha'aretz daily reported, citing Lebanese media reports. No injuries were reported in the return of fire.

The Israeli military said it had lodged a formal complaint with the UNIFIL peacekeeping force in Lebanon.

Sunday's rocket attack attested to the volatility of the Israel- Lebanese border, which has largely remained calm since Israel and Shiite militia Hezbollah last fought a 34-day war in 2006.

In August, four Katyusha rockets were fired from the Lebanese city of Tyre toward northern Israel, prompting a retaliatory Israeli airstrike near Beirut.

Two weeks ago, a Lebanese army sniper killed an Israeli soldier while he was driving along the border.

Editor: Shen Qing
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