Hezbollah denies five killed in Lebanon blast
Lebanese security sources said on Monday five people had been killed, including a Hezbollah official, in a munitions explosion in his home in southern Lebanon on Monday, but the guerrilla group denied anyone had died in a blast in the area, Reuters reported.
Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim al-Moussawi told Reuters one person was wounded in an explosion in southern Lebanon and the cause of the blast was under investigation.
Despite Hezbollah's denial, Israel said a blast at a Hezbollah house showed munitions were being stockpiled in violation of a truce.
Earlier, security sources said five people were killed, including the Hezbollah official and his son, in their home in the Tayr Filsi village on the southern bank of the Litani river, just inside U.N. peacekeepers' area of operations.
UNIFIL, the peacekeeping force that was beefed up after Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in southern Lebanon in 2006, said it was aware of an explosion and was in contact with the Lebanese army.
"We are looking into the circumstances of the incident," UNIFIL spokeswoman Yasmina Bouziane said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said Israel had "nothing to do" with the incident. A senior military source said the Israeli military has asked UNIFIL to open an investigation.
Israel and the United States have accused Hezbollah of violating a U.N. weapons embargo in southern Lebanon and undermining the efforts of U.N. peacekeepers there. Tensions between Hezbollah and Israel had risen after a weapons cache exploded in July in Khirbet Selim in southern Lebanon.
The United Nations said at the time there were signs the stockpile belonged to Hezbollah, and added that the presence of these arms were a violation of Security Council resolution 1701 which ended the war.
Israel has also said the arms cache belonged to Hezbollah. A Hezbollah lawmaker at the time would only say the blast was a one-off accident that involved the explosion of an arms cache that had been in place before the 2006 war. He denied the explosion was a violation of resolution 1701.