Israel hits back after rockets fired from Lebanon

Israel hits back after rockets fired from Lebanon
A Lebanese soldier examines of one 20 the shells that were fired by the Israeli army into southern Lebanon on December 29, 2013, without causing any damage. The barrage came after the Israeli military said it had responded to rockets that reportedly struck an open field west of the town of Kyriat Shmona without causing any casualties or damage.

MARJEYOUN, Lebanon - The Israeli military fired a barrage of shells into southern Lebanon in retaliation after five Katyusha-style rockets were launched against the Jewish state on Sunday, officials said.

The attacks struck uninhabited areas of both Israel and Lebanon without causing any casualties or damage, officials on both sides said.

"About 20 shells from Israeli territory have struck the border region of Arqub after the launch of rockets against Israel this morning," a Lebanese security official told AFP.

The Israeli shelling came in response to two Katyusha-style rockets fired from Lebanon that struck an open field west of the town of Kyriat Shmona, Israeli military radio reported.

"The Israeli artillery responded to rocket attacks from Lebanon against Israel that left no victims, targeting the area where these projectiles were fired from," an Israeli army spokesman told AFP.

Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner tweeted later that "5 rockets (were) launched this morning from #Lebanon, (causing) one confirmed explosion in #Israel," and the military was searching for others.

Tension has spiked on the border between the two countries since Lebanese troops gunned down an Israeli soldier driving near the frontier on December 16.

The United Nations monitoring force on the border, UNIFIL, confirmed the exchange of fire, adding that it had contacted both sides, urging them to "exercise maximum restraint".

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