Four Israeli soldiers injured in explosion on Israel-Lebanon border

Scientific investigators -- part of the U.N. peacekeeping force in south Lebanon -- inspect the area near an explosion that injured four Israeli soldiers close to the Israel-Lebanon border as Lebanese Army soldiers watch. Ali Hashisho / Reuters

JERUSALEM -- An explosion on the Israeli border with Lebanon wounded four Israeli soldiers on Wednesday.

The Lebanese Army said the troops were inside Lebanese territory when the blast occurred.

The soldiers were involved in "an activity near the border," an Israeli military spokesman said about the nighttime incident, without providing details about their exact location or what caused the explosion.

Four soldiers were wounded and taken to hospital in Israel, the spokesman said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) is briefed on the explosion at a military base in southern Israel Wednesday. Kobi Gideon / Israeli government via EPA

Israeli forces routinely patrol the frontier with Lebanon, which has been largely quiet since a war with Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas in 2006.

The Lebanese Army said that an Israeli infantry patrol crossed the U.N.-designated "blue line" between the two countries and moved about 400 yards inside Lebanese territory in a "violation of Lebanese sovereignty."

"During the infiltration, an explosion occurred which led to a number of them being wounded," the Lebanese military said, adding it was investigating the circumstances of the blast in coordination with U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon.

Earlier, a Lebanese security source said the incident may have taken place north of the border fence which separates Israeli and Lebanese forces, but on the Israeli side of the line.

He said the soldiers may have been wounded by a mine.

Another security source said the explosion was about 150 yards south of the blue line.

Asked about the incident, Andrea Teneti, a spokesman for the peacekeeping force, UNIFIL, said he had "no information in relation to our mandate of operations." He described the situation as calm.