Last Updated: Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:49 pm (KSA) 09:49 am (GMT)

Israel 'spy gear' found disguised as rock in Lebanon


The Lebanese army said on Thursday it had uncovered and dismantled an Israeli surveillance camera disguised as a rock near the southern port city of Tyre.

The army said the device had been discovered based on information passed to Lebanese intelligence by "resistance sources", a reference to militant group Hezbollah which maintains a stronghold in the south.

"A specialized army unit on March 17 dismantled espionage apparatus installed by the Israeli enemy and disguised as a rock in the Shamaa area," six kilometers (four miles) from the border with Israel, an army statement said.

The "high-tech espionage device" had systems enabling it to both receive and broadcast images, and covered an area of the coast from the port of Tyre to al-Biyada, 10 kilometers to the south, the army said.

It was operated by reconnaissance aircraft to which it broadcast images, the military said. Israeli aircraft regularly enter Lebanese airspace in violations denounced by both Beirut and the United Nations.

More than 100 people in Lebanon have been arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel since April 2009, including army personnel and telecoms employees. Lebanon has protested to the United Nations over the alleged spy networks.

Five people have so far been condemned to death for espionage but none of the sentences has been carried out.

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