In a day of mixed emotions in the Middle East, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has handed over the bodies of two Israeli soldiers to the Red Cross as part of a prisoner exchange deal with Israel.
Israel confirmed the remains were those of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. Their capture in 2006 sparked an Israeli invasion of Lebanon in which more than 1,125 Lebanese and 160 Israelis died.
Israel also handed over the remains of 200 Lebanese and Palestinian fighters killed in northern Israel, as part of the deal.
After verifying the identity of its soldiers' remains, Israel cleared the release of five Lebanese prisoners.
In anticipation of the release, Lebanese celebrations were held both in Naqoura, near the border with Israel, and the capital Beirut.
Among those freed was Samir Qantar, seen here waving at Beirut airport having changed into military fatigues. He was jailed in 1979 for murdering three people, including a four-year-old girl.
The event was given such significance that Hezbollah's reclusive leader, Hassan Nasrallah, made his first public appearance since September 2006 to welcome the released men home.
In more sombre scenes, meanwhile, Hezbollah prepared coffins for the remains of its fighters.
In Israel, an army spokesperson described it as a tough and emotional day. The government said the unequal exchange had to happen because of its moral obligation to the families of the fallen soldiers.
For Karnit Goldwasser, seen here with Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert as she touches the coffin of her husband, the exchange finally brought closure after two years of waiting for news of his fate.
But Ehud Goldwasser's father, Shlomo, criticised Hezbollah for making his family wait so long for confirmation of his son's death.