The Israeli army on Friday detonated an espionage device in southern Lebanon that had been monitoring a communications network, Shiite militant group Hezbollah said.
“The Israeli enemy today detonated an espionage apparatus latched onto a communications network between the villages of Srifa and Deir Kifa by drone after the Islamic resistance (Hezbollah) succeeded in uncovering the device,” read a statement released by the Syrian- and Iranian-backed group.
No one was injured in the explosion east of the coastal city of Tyre, the statement said.
A Hezbollah official in southern Lebanon told AFP the militant movement earlier on Friday had sent five of its members to monitor the area where the device had been planted, which could have alerted the Israelis that their equipment had been exposed.
On Dec. 3, 2010, Israel also detonated two espionage devices in the southern Lebanese village of Wadi al-Qaysiyya.
Friday’s incident came days after a rocket launched from southern Lebanon landed in Israel, prompting the Jewish state to respond with a volley of rockets.
No one was injured in the attack, which was claimed by an al-Qaeda-inspired group that calls itself the Brigades of Abdullah Azzam.
Hezbollah in recent weeks has rekindled a campaign against what it says are U.S. and Israeli espionage networks in Lebanon, with the party recently announcing it had exposed infiltrators in the Shiite group working for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Lebanese authorities last year launched a crackdown on alleged Israeli spy rings, arresting more than 100 people on suspicion of spying for the Mossad since April 2009.
The arrests included high-ranking security and telecommunications officials.
Hezbollah, which largely controls southern Lebanon, last fought a devastating war with its arch-foe Israel in the summer of 2006.