Israel strikes squad that planted explosives along Syrian border, army says

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The IDF said on Monday it targeted a group of four people who had planted explosives along the border fence with Syria in the Golan Heights.Soldiers spotted the group near a border outpost overnight and, backed by air support, “simultaneously fired at the squad of four terrorists, one shot was identified,” the army said.

No Israelis were injured. An army spokesperson said it was too early to say whether the squad belonged to an organization, but that Israel held “the Syrian regime to account.”

There was no immediate comment from Syria.

Tensions have escalated in recent weeks along the Israeli-Syrian border after a fighter from the Iranian-backed Shiite Lebanese group Hezbollah was killed in an apparent Israeli strike outside Damascus.

Israel has since strengthened its forces on its northern front, on the border with Lebanon and Syria.

The nightly encounter took place at the same location where, until two years ago, Israel operated a field hospital to treat Syrians who had been wounded in the Syrian civil war, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a army spokesperson.

The military had noticed “irregular activity” in this area for about a week and had a team of commandos ambushing them, Conricus said.

A search of the area was underway.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Edited by Daniel Wallis and Dan Grebler; Editing by Robert Birsel

Our standards:Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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