Lebanon finds, defuses eight rockets

Dec. 26, 2008 at 9:54 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Eight armed Katyusha rockets aimed at Israel were discovered and defused by Lebanese army officials, local media reports indicated Friday.

An official Lebanese news agency reported that the rockets were found late Thursday 3 miles from Lebanon's border with Israel, in an area considered a stronghold of the Palestinian militant group Hezbollah but officially under the jurisdiction of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz said.

The Lebanese news Web site Naharnet reported that the 107-mm projectiles were equipped with timers and were defused a short before they set to be launched, The Jerusalem Post said.

Israeli defense officials told the newspaper it was too early to know who was behind the planned rocket attack, with one unnamed source saying, "It could be anyone, Hezbollah, Palestinian terror groups or al-Qaida," and adding it was possible that the planned attack was connected to the escalation of violence with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

Unnamed sources told the Israeli Web site DEBKAfile.com that Israeli military sources "are certain" that Hezbollah gave the rockets to Hamas to demonstrate that the Gaza group could hit Israel from a second front.

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