TEL AVIV (Jul. 23)
Soldiers of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) intercepted a group of heavily armed terrorists in south Lebanon on their way to infiltrate Israel. Their weapons were confiscated and they were released, Israel Radio reported Thursday.
According to Israel Radio, a number of the detainees were Syrians. Three terrorist squads equipped with maps and binoculars were apparently on an intelligence-gathering mission. The others carried large stocks of weapons, sabotage material and sophisticated radio and communications equipment, Israel Radio said.
The Israel Radio report said UNIFIL was trying to maintain a low profile on the operation in order not to complicate relations with various guerrilla groups active in the south Lebanon region patrolled by the international force.
“The most UNIFIL can do is to confiscate weapons and ask the terrorists politely to leave,” an observer commented. UNIFIL’s mandate does not allow it to arrest terrorists passing through its zone and it can open fire only if attacked.