Hezbollah removes rockets from bomb site

Oct. 13, 2009 at 3:49 PM
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JERUSALEM, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Surveillance footage released by the Israeli Army shows Hezbollah operatives removing rockets from a house where an explosion occurred in south Lebanon.

The footage taken by a military drone and released by the army Tuesday night, shows Hezbollah operatives sealing off the site in the village where a Hezbollah operative and his son were reported killed in an explosion in their home on late Monday.

Operatives were seen loading rockets and weapons onto two trucks, which were unloaded in the nearby village of Dir a-Nahar and taken inside a building.

Only after the operation was complete did Hezbollah permit members of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and Lebanese Army officials to enter the village where the explosion occurred.

Israeli security officials estimate Hezbollah has established approximately 300 weapons caches in south Lebanon, and has an arsenal of more than 40,000 rockets, Channel One said.

Israel handed over the surveillance footage to the United Nations to prove Hezbollah's violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which bars Hezbollah from using weapons or stockpiling them in areas south of the Litani River. The resolution was drawn up at the end of the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.

Commenting on the explosion earlier Tuesday, Israeli President Shimon Peres told Israel Radio Hezbollah is turning Lebanon into a powder keg.

Initial reports said the explosion occurred Monday night in the home of a Hezbollah official in a village outside Tyre in southern Lebanon.

There were conflicting reports regarding casualties in Monday night's explosion. Lebanese media reports claimed Abdel Nasser Issa and his son died in the explosion at their home, an alleged Hezbollah munitions dump.

Other media reports said five people were killed, the Web site said.

Some of the reports said Issa was handling an old rocket that exploded, The Daily Star said.

Hezbollah's al-Manar station said the incident was under investigation and claimed no one was killed in the blast.

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