عاجل

البث المباشر

Israel frees Lebanese civilians seized on border

Both men admitted to hospital for dog bites

Two Lebanese civilians seized by Israeli soldiers overnight near the Israeli-Lebanese border were released early on Saturday, a Lebanese security services official said.

"Tarraf Tarraf and Hassan Tarraf were released at 3 a.m. (0100 GMT) and handed to UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) and then to the Lebanese army," the official said.

The brothers, both about 50, were admitted to hospital in the southern city of Tyre, apparently suffering from dog bites, he said.

Tarraf Tarraf told AFP he and his brother had been working in their olive grove near the border village of Blida when "Israeli soldiers attacked us, setting their dogs on us, before taking us trussed up to Palestine."

They were beaten during transport and then interrogated for three hours about why they were in the area and whether they had links with the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, he said.

On Friday night, an Israeli army spokesman told AFP the men were arrested on for having "crossed the border."

The Lebanese official said the army regards the incident as a violation of Lebanese territory, adding that a joint commission from the army and UNIFIL is making on-the-spot enquiries.

In July, a Lebanese shepherd was captured by Israeli soldiers before being handed over to UNIFIL after a few hours.