Israeli army frees six Lebanese civilians | india | Hindustan Times
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Israeli army frees six Lebanese civilians

india Updated: Sep 09, 2006 19:48 IST
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The Israeli army on Saturday said that it had freed six Lebanese civilians detained the previous day around two border villages it still occupies in the south despite a truce now in its fourth week.

"Five Lebanese were detained and released after questioning and a sixth was released immediately," a military spokeswoman said.

"Contrary to our initial reports, none of them was armed," she added.

Lebanese security sources said all six of the detainees were civilians, picked up in the border villages of Aita ash-Shaab and Marwahin.

Two employees of a school for handicapped children, Taher Tehini and Mohammed Srur, were detained as they tried to visit the school to assess its state of repair after Israel's 34-day offensive, police said.

When they failed to return, two other villagers, Kamel Harisi and Hasan Daqduq, the latter a policeman, went after them and were themselves detained, police added.

Israeli troops also detained a fifth resident of Aita ash-Shaab -- Ahmed Ali Qassem -- as well as an inhabitant of the nearby village of Marwahin, Ali Obeid, the Lebanese army said.

The Israeli army has detained dozens of Lebanese since it launched its offensive following the capture of two soldiers by Hezbollah militants in July but all but one has been released within 48 hours.

One 20-year-old detained two weeks ago in the village of Beit Lif remains in Israeli custody.