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U.N. peacekeepers find rocket cache in south Lebanon

BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.N. peacekeepers and Lebanese army troops found an old cache of rockets near the border with Israel on Friday, a day after at least three rockets were fired into northern Israel.

The U.N. force, UNIFIL, said the cache, consisting of 34 Grad-P rockets and some boxes of ammunition, were placed in two old bunkers covered by camouflage nets and appeared to date from the 2006 war between Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Israel.

“There is no sign of any recent use of the bunkers and the weapons appear to date from the period of the 2006 conflict,” a UNIFIL statement said.

The Lebanese army said in a separate statement the weapons found near the village of Kfar Hamam were a rocket launcher and 24 rockets. It described the weapons as old and unusable.

At least three Katyusha rockets were fired into Israel from south Lebanon on Thursday, wounding two people, in an attack linked to Israel’s deadly offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The Lebanese government condemned the attack as a violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution that halted the 2006 war while Hezbollah denied any responsibility. Some Lebanese officials pointed a finger at Palestinian militants.

The statement quoted UNIFIL commander Major General Claudio Graziano as saying the peacekeepers and Lebanese troops were taking concrete measures to ensure the border area was free of any illegal armed personnel, assets and weapons.

“Recent developments have prompted us to enhance our joint presence on the ground. It was in the course of this intensified patrolling activity that the weapons cache was found,” he said.

Reporting by Nadim Ladki, editing by Tim Pearce

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