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Annan "Deeply Concerned" By Israeli Violation of UN Truce

  • VOA News

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he is deeply concerned by an Israeli violation of the Security Council resolution mandating a cessation of hostilities in Lebanon.

The UN statement, issued Saturday, is the first time officials have identified violations of the resolution that went into effect Monday.

Mr. Annan says an Israeli raid in eastern Lebanon early Saturday has endangered the fragile calm in the region and undermined the authority of the government of Lebanon.

The statement also said that the United Nations force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has identified several air violations by Israeli military aircraft.

Lebanese Prime Minister Faud Siniora also criticized the Israeli raid near the city of Baalbek.

Israeli officials say the airlifting of special forces by helicopter was defensive in nature and designed to disrupt weapons supplies for Hezbollah from Syria and Iran.

Israeli officials say one of their soldiers were killed and two others wounded in the raid, while Lebanese security forces said at least three Hezbollah guerrillas were killed.

The unanimous Security Council Resolution 1701 calls on Lebanon and the UN interim force in Lebanon to deploy their forces together to help the Lebanese government gain sovereignty throughout its territory.

In Beirut, Lebanon's Defense Minister (Elias Murr) said his country may now halt its deployment south of the Litani River unless the UN intervenes.

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