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Hezbollah claims responsibility for drone shot down in Israel

October 11, 2012 | 12:10 pm

Hezbollah claims responsibility for drone shot down in Israel
JERUSALEM -- The leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon said Thursday that his group was responsible for dispatching a unmanned drone that was shot down last week over Israel.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address that the drone successfully flew over "sensitive installations" in Israel, exposing what some say were weaknesses in Israel’s air defenses.

Israeli officials, who earlier in the day accused Hezbollah of sending the drone, said they began tracking the drone over the Mediterranean Ocean before it crossed into Israel. They said they allowed it to fly over land only in order to shoot it down in an unpopulated area. The drone was not armed, Israeli officials said, but intended to conduct surveillance.

Earlier Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel would “act with determination to defend its borders.”

In a similar incident in 2006, Israel shot down two unmanned drones sent by Hezbollah to northern Israel.

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-- Edmund Sanders

Photo: An image grab from Hezbollah's Al Manar TV shows Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's militant Shiite movement, delivering a televised speech in Beirut on Thursday. Credit: Al Manar

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