UN steps up Lebanon border patrols after rockets found

December 28, 2008 - 0:0

BEIRUT (AFP) – UN peacekeepers and Lebanese troops have stepped up patrols along the border with Israel after rockets were discovered aimed at the Jewish regime and ready to fire, a UN spokeswoman said on Friday.

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon and the Lebanese army ""have deployed additional troops and intensified patrols and security control of the area,"" said UNIFIL spokeswoman Yasmina Bouziane.
UNIFIL commander Major General Claudio Graziano of Italy, is in contact with senior Lebanese and Israeli military officials, Bouziane added.
On Thursday, security forces found eight Katyusha rockets in the coastal region between Naqura and Tair Harfa.
The rockets were ""aimed at Palestine (Israel) and connected to a timer,"" an officer said on Friday, adding that an investigation was under way and that the rockets had been dismantled.
The area where the rockets were found is a stronghold of the Shiite Hezbollah group and lies less than five kilometres (three miles) from the border.
Israel and Hezbollah fought a devastating 34-day war in 2006 that killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
During the war, Hezbollah fired more than 4,000 rockets at Israel.
The group has been accused by the Jewish state of using the time since the end of the conflict to rearm. Last month, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told parliament that Hezbollah is now three times stronger than it was in 2006.