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(photo credit: Francois Mori/AP)
Hizbullah has reportedly dismantled 14 military outposts in the Shaba Farms region near the border with Israel, Lebanese security sources said Monday.
Eyewitnesses said that bulldozers were used to flatten bases in the Arkov area and block access to tunnels and bunkers.
A French news agency reported that the group evacuated the posts using trucks to carry artillery shells, missiles, other weapons and military equipment northward, while other Hizbullah vehicles laden with generators and furniture made their way out of the region.
The IDF, which claimed to have razed all of the Hizbullah outposts along the border during the monthlong war with the guerrilla group, refused to confirm the report. Sources in the Northern Command said that Hizbullah did not have outposts in the area of the Shaba Farms.
"During the war we destroyed all of the outposts from Rhjar westward to the Mediterranean," one officer said. "In Shaba, there weren't outposts so we didn't operate there."
During the war, the Shaba Farms area was surprisingly one of the quietest regions, despite Hizbullah claims that the land was being illegally occupied by Israel. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 mentions the Shaba Farms both in the preamble and the resolutions but does not call on Israel to return the disputed area, saying rather that the issue would be discussed at a later date.
Meanwhile Monday, the sources in the Northern Command confirmed a report that appeared in the Lebanese newspaper A-Saphir claiming that the Lebanese army had deployed troops along the border with Syria. The sources expressed satisfaction with the decision to deploy the Lebanese army in an effort to block routes used by weapons smugglers from Syria.
"The key to ensuring that there is no more violence is by preventing the transfer of new weaponry to Hizbullah," an officer said.