Israeli military finds 4th Hezbollah tunnel from Lebanon

Hezbollah has yet to comment on the operation, which began two weeks ago. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 December 2018
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Israeli military finds 4th Hezbollah tunnel from Lebanon

  • The military said it has placed explosives in the tunnel as part of an open-ended operation to identify and destroy the cross-border passageways
  • Israel has called on the international community to impose new sanctions on the Iranian-backed Hezbollah

JERUSALEM: The Israeli military says it has exposed a fourth Hezbollah attack tunnel dug from Lebanon.
The military said Sunday that it has placed explosives in the tunnel as part of an open-ended operation to identify and destroy the cross-border passageways. Israel says the tunnels were built by Hezbollah militants to carry out attacks against Israelis.
Hezbollah, which used such tunnels inside Lebanon in the 2006 war, has yet to comment on the operation, which began two weeks ago.
Israel has called on the international community to impose new sanctions on the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, a heavily-armed mini-army with an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets that can reach nearly every part of Israel.


Migrants stranded at sea for three weeks face deportation

Updated 37 min 55 sec ago
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Migrants stranded at sea for three weeks face deportation

  • Vessel carrying 75 illegal refugees, including 32 children, remained stranded 25 km off Tunisia

TUNIS: Tunisia has allowed dozens of migrants, mostly from Bangladesh, to disembark after three weeks stranded in the Mediterranean, so that they can return to their home countries, the Red Crescent said on Wednesday.

An Egyptian boat rescued at least 75 migrants in Tunisian waters last month. But local authorities in the governorate of Medinine said its migrant centers were too overcrowded to let them ashore, leaving the vessel stranded 25 km off the coastal city of Zarzis.

“After they were stranded for three weeks at sea in difficult conditions, Tunisia agreed to dock the ship, and migrants accepted to return to their countries in coming days,” Red Crescent official Mongi Slim told Reuters.

After a visit by officials from Bangladesh Embassy, the migrants agreed to return home, according to Mongi Slim, a Red Crescent official.

Earlier, Red Crescent representatives welcomed to port 64 Bangladeshis, nine Egyptians, a Moroccan, a Sudanese citizen, who left Zuwara in Libya in late May.

The migrants, which include at least 32 children and unaccompanied minors, are to be transferred to a reception center in Sfax from where they are set to return home, Slim added.

Worried about creating a precedent, Tunisian authorities said they accepted the migrants as an exception and for “humanitarian” reasons.

“We thank Tunisia’s renewed commitment to life and dignity,” said Lorena Lando, the head of the International Organization for Migration in Tunisia.

She added that it is urgent to put in place a collaborative approach to helping migrants in the Mediterranean.

Neighboring Libya’s west coast is a frequent departure point for African migrants hoping to reach Europe by paying human traffickers. But their numbers have dropped after an Italian-led effort to disrupt smuggling networks and support the Libyan coast guard.

At least 65 migrants drowned last month when their boat capsized off Tunisia after setting out from Libya.

In the first four months of 2019, 164 people are known to have died on the route, a smaller number but a higher death rate than in previous years, with one dying for every three who reach European shores, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said.