Lebanon: Israel explodes its spy devices in south

July 3, 2012 - 2:39 PM

BEIRUT (AP) — Israel has remotely detonated three spying devices in south Lebanon, the Lebanese army said Tuesday.

The explosions occurred Monday evening in the village of Zrariye, north of the Litani river, which runs through southern Lebanon, the army said. The militant Hezbollah group said it discovered the devices before their detonation and hailed that as a major achievement, accusing Israel of violating Lebanese sovereignty.

The Lebanese army said in a statement published on its website that it was investigating the incident. It gave no details of exactly what the devices were supposed to do or how long they had been there.

The Israeli military declined to comment.

Lebanese and U.N. officials have accused Israel in the past of detonating similar spy devices planted in south Lebanon, where Hezbollah guerrillas operate. Hezbollah and Israel, bitter enemies, fought a fierce monthlong war in 2006.

Lebanese officials claim that Israel regularly recruits spies in Lebanon and has penetrated the nation's telecommunications networks. Israel does not comment on the allegations.

The two countries have been in a formal state of war since Israel was created in 1948. In Lebanon, spying for or collaborating with Israel can be punishable by death.

Lebanon has arrested dozens of alleged collaborators in the past few years, including several people working in the telecommunications industry.