BEIRUT (AP) -- An explosion early Wednesday wounded Israeli soldiers who had crossed the border into Lebanon in a rare incident along the heavily guarded and volatile frontier, the Lebanese army said.
The military said in a statement that the Israeli troops reached as far as 400 meters (yards) inside Lebanon in the Labbouneh area near the coastal town of Naqoura. It called the incident "a new violation of Lebanese sovereignty," and said it is investigating the nature of the pre-dawn blast.
The Israeli military said earlier that a blast wounded four soldiers during "overnight activity adjacent to the northern border." It did not say whether they were injured in training or in combat, nor whether they had crossed into Lebanese territory.
It was not immediately clear why Israeli soldiers would have been on Lebanese soil -- a rare occurrence since Israel withdrew its troops from the country in 2000, ending an 18-year military occupation there.
Israel fought a war against Lebanon's Hezbollah in 2006, which broke out after the Iranian-backed militant group's guerrillas crossed into Israel and captured two Israeli soldiers. The ensuing month-long conflict killed about 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis.
The last serious clashes along the frontier took place in 2010 when Lebanese and Israeli troops exchanged fire across the border, killing at least three people.
Lebanon's state-run news agency said the Israeli soldiers wounded Wednesday were hit by a land mine about 150 meters (yards) inside Lebanon.
The U.N. peacekeeping force in the area, UNIFIL, is investigating the reports and a team of peacekeepers has traveled to the location where the Lebanese army says the blast occurred, mission spokesman Andrea Tenenti said.
Lebanon's foreign minister, Adnan Mansour, said Beirut will file a complaint to the U.N. Security Council over the incident, describing it as a violation of the security council resolution that ended the 2006 war and saying it "reveals again the Israeli enemy's hidden intensions through its infiltration of Lebanese territory."
Israel borders both Lebanon and Syria to its north, and the Israeli military did not specify where along the northern frontier its soldiers were wounded.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wished the troops a speedy recovery while on a tour of a military base in the south of the country, and said "we will continue to act responsibly in order to defend Israel's borders."
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