Lebanese Army Uncovers Terror Cell

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SOUTHERN LEBANON - The Lebanese Army said on Tuesday it had detained 10 members of a terror cell planning attacks on its forces and on UNIFIL troops (UN peacekeeping forces) in southern Lebanon.

According to the army's statement, the cell was part of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Fatah al-Islam group, involved in the fighting at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in 2007, which left 430 dead, 170 of whom were Lebanese soldiers.

The group was also planning attacks outside of Lebanon, according to the army's statement.

The cell leader, a Syrian national, had six forged passports on his person, a Lebanese security official told Reuters.

"He traveled to six Arab countries in 15 days," the source said. "His group was planning several attacks against a wide range of targets," he said, noting that most of the cell members were living in Christian areas east of Beirut.

Meanwhile on Monday, Israeli Ambassador Gabriella Shalev said recent incidents in southern Lebanon show that Hezbollah is continuing to violate Resolution 1701, issued with the UN-brokered cease-fire that ended the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Security Council President Ruhakana Rugunda of Uganda, Shalev said last week's explosion at a Hezbollah weapons warehouse in a village near the border with Israel is more evidence of Hezbollah "building a new military infrastructure south of the Litani River."

In a separate incident last week, UNIFIL forces allowed a group of 15 Lebanese adults and children to cross the border into Israel, where they shouted slogans and planted Hezbollah flags. According to organizers of the demonstration, UNIFIL forces "even cooperated with them," Shalev wrote.

"Israel calls upon the government of Lebanon to exercise its authority and prevent such violations of the Blue Line that endanger the stability along our mutual border. In addition, Israel calls upon the Secretary-General to exercise his influence and to ensure that UNIFIL will prevent any future incidents from occurring," the letter stated.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Ynet news

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