Israel's military says explosions in southern Lebanon occurred at Hezbollah weapons depot
JERUSALEM – JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's military said Saturday that surveillance footage from drones shows that the explosions that rocked a village in southern Lebanon this week occurred at a residential building used by Hezbollah as a weapons depot.
A series of blasts ripped through a building in the Hezbollah-dominated village of Shehabiyeh on Friday. There did not appear to be any casualties from the blasts, which set off a large fire. Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, did not comment on the nature of the explosions or whether the building had been used to store weapons.
Israeli military spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich told The Associated Press Saturday that footage from Israeli drones shows suspected Hezbollah militants removing weapons from the site and transferring them to other Hezbollah facilities.
Leibovich said it was the third time this year that explosions have torn through a suspected Hezbollah weapons cache. She also accused the group of maintaining military facilities — including bunkers and storage depots for large quantities of weapons — in 160 villages across southern Lebanon.
She alleged that the caches include the type of rockets that Hezbollah launched by the hundreds on northern Israeli cities during the 2006 war.
Friday's blasts occurred south of the Litani River, the zone where Hezbollah is banned from keeping weapons under a U.N. resolution that ended the 2006 war between the Shiite militants and Israel.
The area is patrolled by a U.N. peacekeeping force, known as UNIFIL, as well as Lebanese soldiers and has been largely peaceful since the conflict. UNIFIL said Saturday that it was still investigating Friday's incident, but that it had no reports of suspicious activities.