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Border conflict continues for Syria

Israeli troops opened fire Wednesday on two suspected militants who were trying to plant explosives on the Jewish state's frontier with Syria, the Israeli military said. Syrian state media accused the Jewish state of targeting its forces with tank shells, and warned against such "adventures."

In eastern Lebanon, Syrian warplanes conducted a series of airstrikes on the outskirts of a Lebanese border town, officials said. The violence along both frontiers shows how Syria's three-year civil war is spilling over into its neighbours, destabilizing the wider region.

Israel's military said its forces fired on what it called Hezbollah-affiliated militants on the Golan Heights and that "hits were identified." The military did not explain how it knew of the men's alleged links with Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite group that is a sworn enemy of Israel.

Hezbollah officials were not immediately available for comment.

Syria's state news agency SANA, citing a military source, said that Israeli forces fired four tank shells toward the Golan village of Hamidiyeh, hitting a school and a mosque early Wednesday. It said Israeli forces also fired another four shells toward another area called Houriyeh, and then opened fire a third time, again toward Hamidiyeh.

It said the attacks wounded seven members of the security forces and four civilians. It provided no further information.

In a cryptic comment, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said the Israeli "aggression" against Hamidiyeh in the Golan came because it "felt" the Syrian military had carried out a pre-emptive operation to secure its border with Israel.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that Israeli forces fired several tank shells and two missiles toward the Golan Heights. The group said one missile hit a school in the village of Hamidiyeh, where Syrian troops were concentrated. The Observatory obtains its news from a network of activists in Syria.

The Canadian Press

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