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US urges restraint from Lebanon, Israel

4 August 2010 6:00

The US has called on both Israel and Lebanon to exercise “maximum restraint” following a deadly fire exchange on Tuesday along the Lebanon’s southern border.

Washington is “extremely concerned” Tuesday’s violence along the Israel-Lebanon border zone, The Jerusalem Post quoted US State Department Spokesman PJ Crowley as saying.

At least three Lebanese soldiers and one senior Israeli army officer were killed in the Tuesday incident which also left a journalist killed and several other Lebanese and Israeli soldiers also injured.

Beirut blamed the violence breakout on Israeli troops who had entered Lebanese territory, accusing the Israeli army forces of using phosphorus bombs in the attack.

“We deeply regret the loss of life,” Crowley said. “We urge both sides to exercise maximum restraint to avoid an escalation and maintain the cease-fire that is now in place.”

In Lebanon, President Michel Sleiman strongly condemned the Tuesday’s killings and vowed that his country would “stand up to Israel’s violation of UN Resolution 1701 – whatever the cost.”

Prime Minister Saad Hariri also slammed Israel for a “violation of Lebanese sovereignty and demands.”

“The United Nations and the international community [must] bear their responsibilities and pressure Israel to stop its aggression,” Hariri said in statement.

Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah also warned that if Israel invaded the Lebanese military again, his resistance movement force would not hesitate to act.

“The arm that extends itself against the Lebanese army will be cut by the resistance,” he said.

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