Lebanese soldiers dismantle rockets

Rockets were pointed at Israel, ready for launch; IAF jets fly over Lebanon.

lebanon rocket 88 (photo credit: )
lebanon rocket 88
(photo credit: )
Army engineers in south Lebanon dismantled two rockets mounted for firing at Israel on Friday, a senior military official said of a move that suggested Lebanon was exerting greater control over its border area. The army was investigating who owned the rockets and had searched the area for more, the official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. "The two rockets were found in an orchard in the border town of Naqoura," the official said. The incident came three days after Lebanese-based guerrillas fired rockets into northern Israel, causing damage to the town of Kiryat Shmona but no casualties. In a rare rebuke, Lebanon's Prime Minister Fuad Saniora condemned the rocket attack and said his government would catch the perpetrators to make sure it did not happen again. Israel blamed Wednesday's attack on a militant pro-Syrian Palestinian group and retaliated with air strikes early Wednesday against the group's base outside Beirut, Israel's deepest strike into Lebanon in 18 months. The Iraqi-based terror group, al-Qaida in Iraq, claimed Thursday that it had fired the rockets. The claim was made in a posting on an Islamic Internet forum that could not be independently verified. Also Friday, two IAF jets flew over Beirut and the targeted PFLP-GC base at Na'ameh, five miles south of the Lebanese capital, the official National News Agency reported. The jets also flew over a PFLP-GC base in Sultan Ya'acoub, a village about 3 miles from the Syrian border, security officials said. Another two Israeli jets flew presumed reconnaissance flights over the southern Lebanese cities of Tyre and Sidon, drawing anti-aircraft fire from Lebanese army guns, the army said in a statement.