Page last updated at 14:43 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Lebanon rockets fired on Israel


Smoke rises from shelling on the Lebanese-Israeli border

Three rockets have been fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel - the second attack in less than a week.

There were no injuries or damage reported where they fell, near the Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona. The Israeli army responded with artillery.

The latest attack comes six days after a similar incident along the border.

No-one has yet admitted carrying out the attacks, which Israel has attempted to play down and the Lebanese government has condemned.

Lebanese Information Minister Tarek Mitri told reporters that the perpetrators were trying to drag Lebanon into a wider conflict.

"Whoever is behind this attack is targeting the national consensus and all parties represented within the government," he said.

Hezbollah denials

After the first attack last Thursday it was feared that the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah was responsible.

Israel invaded southern Lebanon in 2006 in an attempt to stop rocket attacks from Hezbollah.

As things stand now, we have no intention of opening a second front
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer
Israeli minister

After the Gaza conflict began in December, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah spoke openly about the possibility of a renewed conflict with Israel, saying its fighters were on high alert along the Lebanese-Israeli border.

But Hezbollah militants denied involvement in the first attack.

Mohammed Fneish, a Hezbollah member who is Lebanon's labour minister, told AFP news agency he had no information about who was behind the latest attack.

"Our position has not changed. It is the same as the position of the government."

Heightened security

After the latest incident, Israeli cabinet minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told Israel Radio he still hoped the attack was an "isolated incident".

"As things stand now, we have no intention of opening a second front," he said.

No-one has taken responsibility for either attack, with analysts saying the rockets could be coming from Lebanese groups with less support than Hezbollah.

Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said earlier that security had been heightened along the border.

A Lebanese official said Israel fired eight artillery shells at the source of the rockets, near the village of Kfar Hamam, the Associated Press news agency reported.

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