Israel abducts six Lebanese as German FM says too early to speak on prisoners deal
Israeli troops abducted six people, including a policeman, in two Lebanese villages on the border with Israel, residents and Lebanese security officials said. Four of the villagers were taken in Aita al-Shaab, the officials said, according to the AP.
A fifth man, from the Lebanese police security service, was also seized at Aita al-Shaab when he arrived at the scene, villagers said.
The state-run National News Agency said Israeli soldiers also kidnapped another villager at Marwaheen in the same region and drove him across the border into Israel in a convoy of two vehicles.
The Israeli army said its troops stopped a group of men who were moving toward them and questioned them.
Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday it was premature to talk of negotiations for the release of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hizbullah in July, but said Germany would be ready to help in mediation if asked. Speaking at a joint news conference with Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in Tel Aviv, Steinmeier said he had raised the issue of the soldiers with Lebanese officials.
"In my talks with the government in Lebanon I discussed this issue of the abductees," he said. "I don't know if the time is ripe, here in Israel and in Lebanon to start the process, but if we are asked to help we would be interested in doing so."
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