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Lebanon army: Israeli troops capture Lebanese farmer

Jan. 13, 2011 11:08 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 13, 2011 5:20 P.M.)
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) -- An Israeli patrol crossed into Lebanese territory on Wednesday and captured a Lebanese shepherd near the border, the Lebanese army said in a statement.

"In a flagrant assault on residents of southern Lebanon... Enemy troops crossed the technical fence south of the village of Rmeish and kidnapped a Lebanese man, whom they took back into the occupied territories," or Israel, it said.

The statement said the army was in contact with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, which is tasked with monitoring the Lebanon-Israel border, in order to "free the citizen."

An army spokesman told AFP the shepherd, whom he identified as Sharbel Khoury, was expected to be released on Thursday morning.

Israel has detained Lebanese civilians in the disputed border region in the past, and regularly conducts overflights into southern Lebanon, a stronghold of Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

The overflights are a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which also calls for the dismantling and disarming of all militias in Lebanon.

Beirut has previously filed complaints to the United Nations over similar arrests, arguing that they violate Resolution 1701, which ended a devastating 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

UNIFIL was set up in 1978 to monitor the border with Israel and was expanded after the 2006 war, which killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mainly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mainly soldiers.
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