Lebanese Army Diffuses Eight Katyushas

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CBNNews.com - NAKOURA, Lebanon - Lebanese army sappers and UNIFIL (United Nations) troops diffused eight Katyusha rockets, primed for launching at Israel Thursday night.

According to eyewitnesses, the missiles were discovered in a forest between Nakoura and Tyre, also known as Teir Harfa.

UNIFIL notified the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Northern Command and kept them abreast of developments.

IDF officials said it was too early to know who was responsible.

"It could be anyone -- Hezbollah, Palestinian terror groups or al-Qaeda," an IDF defense official said.

According to the Lebanese Naharnet Web site, the missiles may have been Iranian-modified RAAD Katyushas, with a 15-mile range and a 220-pound pay load.

The IDF Northern Command is aware that Hezbollah terrorists may open a second front when Israel steps up its response to Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Defense officials estimate that Hezbollah has 40,000 missiles, more than twice what it had prior to the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.

Hezbollah, now a part of Lebanese President Michel Suleiman's government, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip are both funded, armed and trained by Iran.

During the Second Lebanon War, RAAD missiles reached the port city of Haifa.

Sources: Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, Naharnet

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