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Israel completes troops pull out from S Lebanon

Israeli troops complete their withdrawal from southern Lebanon early on Sunday, say local media reports citing military sources.

india Updated: Oct 01, 2006 10:45 IST
Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Israeli troops completed their withdrawal from southern Lebanon early on Sunday, said local media reports citing military sources.

The last troops left southern Lebanon at 2:30 am (1230 GMT).

Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz gave the military his approval Saturday to withdraw remaining forces from Lebanese soil by Sunday evening, the Jerusalem Post reported, following earlier claims by the commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Alain Pelligrini, that Israel would withdraw its forces on Sunday.

The withdrawal was set for completion before the Sunday evening start of the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, when the entire nation comes to a halt and most Jews fast.

More than two and a half months after the start of Israel's bloody war with Hezbollah militia forces in southern Lebanon, few soldiers remained on the ground Saturday - manning about 10 positions on the Lebanese side of the border - as the Israeli military made its final preparations for the withdrawal.

In the past weeks, soldiers from a multitude of nations have spread across southern Lebanon from the Litani River to the border with Israel as part of the internationally brokered end to the conflict.

A UN resolution putting an end to July's month-long conflict called for Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in parallel with the deployment of Lebanese government troops and up to 15,000 UN peacekeepers, as well as the disarming of all militias.

First Published: Oct 01, 2006 10:45 IST