70-year-old man critically wounded by cluster bomb in south Lebanon

By The Associated Press


Elul 17, 5766

The Israel Defense Forces released five prisoners in southern Lebanon on Saturday after being questioned, an army spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, A 70-year-old man was in critical condition after he was wounded Saturday when a cluster bomb left over from IDF operations against Hezbollah militants exploded outside his south Lebanon home, security officials said.

Hussein Ali Ahmed Ali was tending to his small field outside his house in the village of Yuhmor when he accidentally stepped on the bomb.

He was rushed to a hospital in the southern market town of Nabatiyeh with serious wounds to his head and body and was said to be in critical condition, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

The five prisoners were detained by soldiers patrolling Aita al-Shaab, a village which came under Israel's control during the war against Hizbollah.

The IDF spokeswoman said the men were unarmed. The army had initially said that four armed men had been detained by troops on Friday. The army did not say why they were detained.

On Friday, IDF troops seized six people, including a policeman, in two Lebanese villages on the border with Israel, residents and Lebanese security officials said.

Four of the villagers, were taken in Aita al-Shaab, a village that saw heavy fighting between Hezbollah militants and the IDF during their 34-day war, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

A fifth man, from the Lebanese police security service, was also seized at Aita al-Shaab when he arrived at the scene, villagers said.

The state-run National News Agency said IDF troops also seized another villager at Marwaheen in the same region and drove him across the border into Israel in a convoy of two vehicles.

The IDF said its troops stopped a group of men who were moving toward them and questioned them. The military did not say where the incident occurred or whether the men were armed.

Villagers in Aita al-Shaab said four of the young men seized were working at the local school when an IDF raiding party crossed over the border about one kilometer away and detained them Friday afternoon.

"There has been no shooting here and there is no Hezbollah. I have no idea why the Israelis captured my son," said Abu Hassan Dakdouk, the father of the captured police officer, Hassan Dakdouk.

The villagers said that the IDF troops carried out a search in the small border village four days ago, but they did not know what they were looking for.

The IDF is in the process of withdrawing from areas they seized in the south during their Lebanon offensive, and Lebanese soldiers and United Nations peacekeepers are taking their place under the terms of a UN-brokered cease-fire that began August 14.

Since the truce began, Israeli troops have seized Lebanese in areas they control on three other occasions, the officials said. In each case, the detained Lebanese were handed over to UN peacekeepers at the Lebanese border village of Naqoura, apparently after being taken into Israel for questioning.

Two people hurt in cluster bomb explosion in southern Lebanon
Two people were wounded Friday when a cluster bomb left over from the war between Hezbollah and Israel exploded in a southern Lebanese village, the state-run news agency said.

Nasser Haidar, 39, and his 12-year-old son, Hassan, were walking in front of their home in Arab Salim when the bomb exploded inflicting "various wounds," the National News Agency reported.

The victims were rushed to the government hospital in the nearby market town of Nabatiyah for treatment, the agency said.