Israeli airstrike kills team of militants laying explosive on northern border

The strike comes a day after the Israeli Air Force hit Hezbollah and government targets in Syria, according to reports.
By Fred Lambert  |  April 26, 2015 at 7:33 PM
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MAJDAL SHAMS, Israel, April 26 (UPI) -- The Israeli Air Force killed a team of four militants planting an explosive device near the country's northern border on Sunday, according to reports.

The Israeli Defense Force eliminated a "a group of armed terrorists" that was "identified while clearly laying a mine," near the Golan Heights town of Majdal Shams, on the slopes of Mount Hermon, IDF spokesman Col. Peter Lerner was quoted by the Times of Israel as saying.

The IDF released a statement saying it would "not accept any attempt to attack or infringe Israel's sovereignty," and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted by the Times as saying every "attempt to injure our soldiers and our citizens will be met with a decisive response like the IDF action this evening, which thwarted an attempted terror attack."

The strike comes one day after the IDF was reported to have bombed Scud missile depots manned by Hezbollah fighters and government forces in Syria's al-Qalamoun area, on the border between Syria and Lebanon, in a series of attacks that began Wednesday.

Hezbollah, a Shia militant group from Lebanon, has fought in Syria on behalf of forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, who belongs to the country's Alawite minority that is associated with Shia Islam.

Israel said it has targeted its northern border area in the past when Iran attempted to supply arms to Hezbollah, its Shia proxy in the region.

Hezbollah advances on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in the past months have put Israel on edge.

An Israeli airstrike in the area killed a prominent Hezbollah commander in January. The following month, further Israeli strikes inside Lebanon prompted Hezbollah to release a statement condemning the "blatant assault on Lebanon and its sovereignty and its territory." The group promised it would "choose the time and place and the proper way to respond to it."

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