Syrians throw mines into Golan Heights

Monday, March 05, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Israeli troops found 10 anti-personnel mines thrown by the Syrians into Israel on Saturday afternoon. Sappers were immediately sent to the area to detonate the explosives.

The Israeli army blames the Syrian government for the incident even though the mines were thrown by Syrian shepherds. The shepherds were believed to have taken the mines from an old Israeli minefield and thrown over the fence along the Israeli-Syrian border.

“This is certainly a provocation, but it does not indicate a major escalation,” said one officer in the Northern Command, pointing out a number of incidents with Syrian shepherds along the border.

The mines were found just south of the Golan Heights during the afternoon patrol. The mines were not camouflaged, making the army believe the perpetrators were quick to place the mines and flee. “The Syrians must prevent these types of incidents that may lead to far graver consequences,” military officials said.

The army plans on thoroughly investigating the incident and Israel plans on filing a complaint with the United Nations.

Defense officials said the Syrian military is deploying troops along the border, despite restrictions and believe the Syrians have built structures, which could serve as military bases and weapon storehouses.

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