Israeli, Lebanese, UN officers to meet after cross-border killing

Israeli soldiers guard near the border between northern Israel and Lebanon on Monday. Ariel Schalit / AP

Israeli, Lebanese and U.N. officials said they would meet on Monday to defuse tensions after a Lebanese soldier shot dead an Israeli counterpart along the border between the two countries, Israel's defense minister said.

“We will demand of the Lebanese army first of all an explanation as to what happened and whether this was indeed a rogue soldier; what they have done with him, and what the Lebanese army plans to do in order to prevent incidents of this kind," Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said in statement.

An unnamed Lebanese source told Reuters that they found the soldier who carried out the attack, after initially losing contact with him after the incident.

The countries fought a 34-day war 2006 after Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers. 

In an earlier statement, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said the soldier was driving a civilian vehicle along the Israel-Lebanon border near Rosh Hanikra when the shots were fired at around 8:30 p.m. local time (1:30 p.m. ET, Sunday).

“The soldier was treated at the scene and was then evacuated to a hospital. He later died of his wounds,” the statement added. “Initial inquiry confirmed that the sniper is a member of the Lebanese Armed Forces.”

An army spokesman told NBC News that Israeli troops in the area later shot at two Lebanese soldiers who "made suspicious movements," on the Lebanese side of the border around four hours after the first incident.

A Lebanese security source told Reuters that the Israelis fired into Lebanon but there had been no casualties.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon earlier condemned the shooting close to the so-called blue line, as the border between the two countries is known. 

He added that the IDF and Lebanese Armed Forces were cooperating with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon to determine exactly what had happened.

“The Secretary-General reminds the Lebanese Armed Forces of their responsibilities under Security Council resolution 1701 and strongly urges both sides to exercise restraint,” Ban said. 

Reuters contributed to this report.