Five Lebanese troops were injured by a landmine in southern Lebanon Tuesday, the first casualties the army have suffered since deploying in the southern border strip at the beginning of the month.
The five, an officer and four soldiers, were taken to the government hospital in the nearby town of Nabatiyeh, an official of the army's information service told AFP.
A source at the hospital said the hand of one of the victims had to be amputated, but none of them was in a life-threatening condition.
The Lebanese police said the patrol had been clearing mines when one exploded.
The border strip was occupied by Israel for 22 years until it pulled back on May 24th.
Nine civilians have been killed and about 50 others injured by exploding mines or shells since the Israeli pullback.
In the most recent incident on August 22nd, three children were killed and one injured when a metal object they found while playing close to a former Israeli military position blew up.
The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFEL) began demining work along the Israeli-Lebanese border in late June. But a UN demining expert from Ukraine said on August 16th that maps of the mined areas provided by Israel were inaccurate.
The United Nations says 130,000 mines are scattered throughout the former Israeli-held area. Most were planted by the Israelis and their allies in the South Lebanon Army while others were laid earlier, at the beginning of the 1975-90 Lebanese civil war, experts say -- BEIRUT (AFP)
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