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Israeli drone crashes inside Lebanon

Sept. 20, 2014 1:59 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 22, 2014 3:25 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli drone crashed inside Lebanon on Saturday, reportedly coming down more than a dozen kilometers on the other side of the border.

"The drone crashed on the Lebanese border, inside Lebanese territory. Lebanese troops are in the area," a military source told AFP.

A military source told the Lebanese newspaper Daily Star that the plane fell in the Saradah Valley, about 15 kilometers north of the Blue Line that demarcates the border between Israel and Lebanon.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the incident, saying that the drone fell "during a routine security mission along the border" after suffering a "technical malfunction."

"The circumstances of the incident are being reviewed," she added, noting that she could not confirm how deep inside of Lebanon the plane had hit.

Israel routinely flies its planes and drones across the border over Lebanon, in direct violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that ended a 2006 war with Hezbollah.

Lebanese officials say that the violations come on a nearly daily basis, with the ominous buzzing of drones and fighter jets a routine part of life across the south and even in the capital Beirut.

In February, an Israeli drone crashed on the Blue Line, the UN-demarcated line between Lebanon and Israel.

Israeli soldiers crossed into Lebanese territory during that incident to retrieve the wreckage.

The Blue Line was drawn up in 2000 by the UN after Israeli troops withdrew, ending a 22-year military occupation of south Lebanon.

AFP contributed to this report.
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