BEIRUT —An Israeli military vehicle triggered a landmine on Tuesday along the Lebanese border near Aita Shaab in South Lebanon.
The Israeli Army said two of its soldiers were injured by the landmine, while Hezbollah-owned TV channel Al-Manar had previously reported three injuries.
"A soldier was seriously injured earlier today as a result of a landmine explosion during a routine engineering activity in an Israeli-sovereign enclave on the border with Lebanon. Another soldier was also slightly wounded. The two soldiers were taken to the hospital for treatment. The accident is being investigated," the Arabic-speaking Israeli army spokesperson Avichay Adraee tweeted Tuesday.
In its report, Al-Manar added that the military vehicle was carrying out dredging work when it triggered the landmine and that one of the three wounded soldiers lost a leg in the explosion.
Al-Manar's correspondent also said that “the wounded [soldiers] were taken to a [Israeli] military campsite.”
He also indicated that bulldozers and the soldiers' vehicle withdrew from the scene and engineering works were halted.
The correspondent also claimed that Israel had previously planted the mine that exploded.
Unexploded landmines were left behind in some parts of Lebanon after the Israeli-Lebanese war in 2006. The landmines continue to claim victims, typically Lebanese residents. Demining operations conducted by UN teams and the Lebanese Army, however, have cleared many of these devices.
The Jerusalem Post, an Israeli newspaper, also reported on the incident, quoting Al-Manar and adding that the incident took place in Shtula, a village about one-kilometer northeast of the Israeli border.
'Landmines remain a serious threat'
A spokesperson for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) confirmed that "earlier today, a landmine exploded south of the Blue Line near Aita Shaab," without confirming the injuries.
She added that UNIFIL was present in the area.
"Landmines remain a serious threat along the Blue Line, as this incident shows. Since 2006, UNIFIL has been working to clear mines and other unexploded ordnances from Lebanese territory along the Blue Line, to prevent incidents like this," added the spokesperson.
She said that works conducted by the Israeli army along the border are ongoing.
Earlier in March, near the town of Houla, tensions arose between the Israeli and Lebanese armies due to such works.
A local resident told L'Orient Today that he heard the sound of an explosion and what he said was a soldier's cry of pain.
The local resident added that the incident took place close to the Blue Line, a UN-delineated border between southern Lebanon and Israel.