Shadowy Group Claims Responsibility for Rocket Attack on Israel
A previously unknown militant Islamic group claimed responsibility on Monday for a rocket attack on north Israel as the Lebanese Army and U.N. Peacekeepers went on full alert in search of the assailants.
The self-proclaimed group, "the Jihadi Badr Brigades – Lebanon branch
," vowed in a statement faxed to The Associated Press in Beirut to continue attacks on Israel.
"We had promised our people Jihad (holy war). Here, we again strike the Zionists when a group from the Jihadi Badr Brigades struck the Zionists in the occupied Palestinian territory," the statement said. ..
Authenticity of the group's claim could not be immediately confirmed. Meanwhile, the Lebanese army and U.N. peacekeepers went on full alert in search of the unidentified assailants.
Armored vehicles of both the Lebanese army and the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) patrolled the road running parallel to the border with Israel.
The Lebanese army also set up snap checkpoints in the border zone right after the Sunday 5 pm rocket attack in search of a civilian vehicle which the assailants reportedly used to launch the rockets into the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona, causing no injuries and inflicting minor damage.
UNIFIL said the rocket attack from Lebanese territory on Israel was a "serious breach" to the cease-fire that ended last summer's Israel-Hizbullah war, and urged the parties to exercise maximum restraint to prevent an escalation...
UNIFIL and Lebanese troops have intensified patrols of the area "in order to locate the perpetrators and prevent any further attacks," said UNIFIL spokeswoman Yasmina Bouziane.
The peacekeeping force urged the parties to exercise maximum restraint to prevent escalation...
Prime Minister Fouad Saniora said the attack aimed to destabilize Lebanon by casting doubts about the ability of the army and UNIFIL to protect the border zone.
Bouziane said that the Lebanese army "located the launching area and found four rocket launchers with time devices. There were three fired and the fourth failed to fire."
The Lebanese army said in a statement three 107 millimeter Katyusha rockets were fired at Israel by "unknown elements" and that a search was underway to find the attackers. Troops sent to search the suspected launching area found a fourth rocket equipped with a timer.
A Lebanese security said that the rockets were launched using timers from an area between the villages of Adaisseh and Kfar Kila, a few kilometers from Israel's border. (...)
Late Sunday, a drone aircraft could be heard circling over the southern port city of Tyre, witnesses said.
UNIFIL and the Lebanese army have no drones, and Israel has frequently flown such small aircraft to monitor movements on the ground in southern Lebanon.