Annan Calls for Restraint in Middle East
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Monday he was "alarmed" by incidents on the Lebanon-Israel border, and called for "restraint" from Hizbollah, Lebanon, Syria and Israel in the explosive situation.
Israel launched retaliatory air strikes on Hizbollah positions in southern Lebanon after an attack on an Israeli patrol that left one soldier dead and two others injured.
A bomb exploded in the path of a military patrol near the disputed Shebaa Farms border area, a mountainous region on the Lebanese-Syrian borders occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
Hizbollah, the Shiite Muslim guerrilla movement that fought Israel's 22-year occupation of Lebanon, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the bombing was part of the jihad or holy war "to regain every inch of our occupied territory."
In a statement, Annan urged "all parties, including Hizbollah and the governments of Israel, Lebanon and Syria to show restraint at a time when even small military actions have the potential to cause a serious escalation of tensions and hostilities in the region." -- NEW YORK (AFP)
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