October 7, 2014 / 11:59 AM / in 3 years

Hezbollah bomb wounds two Israeli soldiers, Israel shells south Lebanon

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese Hezbollah fighters detonated a bomb on Lebanon’s border with Israel on Tuesday, wounding two Israeli soldiers and drawing artillery fire in response.

An injured Israeli soldier is evacuated to a hospital in the northern city of Haifa October 7, 2014. A blast on Lebanon's border with Israel wounded two Israeli soldiers on Tuesday and the Israeli army responded with shelling across the frontier, a military spokeswoman and a security source said. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The incident in the Shebaa hills area marked the first time that Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for an attack against the Israeli army since 2006, when the two sides fought a 33-day war

The Israeli army said in a statement that two soldiers were wounded in the attack. Initial reports indicated they had been deliberately targeted, it said.

Hezbollah said its fighters detonated the bomb.

Israeli artillery responded with barrages and Lebanese witnesses said about 30 shells fell in the vicinity of the attack.

Israel and Lebanon are technically at war but their 80 km (49 mile) border has been largely quiet since the 2006 war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet that the soldiers had prevented an attack, but he did not elaborate.

“We have demonstrated that we respond with force to any attempt to harm us, whether it is in the south, the north or any other sector,” he said.

Israel and Lebanon are technically at war but their 80 km (50 mile) border has been largely quiet since the 2006 war.

Israel is on alert for any spillover from the civil war in neighbouring Syria, where Hezbollah forces are fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

Reporting by Mariam Karouny and Oliver Holmes in Beirut, and Dan Williams and Ori Lewis in Jerusalem, Editing by Luke Baker and Angus MacSwan

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