Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Hezbollah leader Hassan NasrallahAFP photo

Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack along the Lebanese-Israeli border which injured two IDF soldiers Tuesday afternoon.

Hezbollah terrorists "detonated an explosive device on the Shebaa hills against a motorized Israeli patrol causing a number of injuries among the occupation's soldiers," the group said in a statement

The group said the attack was carried out by the "martyr Hassan Ali Haidar unit," which is named for a Hezbollah member killed on September 5 when an Israeli listening device in Lebanon was detonated remotely as he tried to dismantle it.

The two wounded soldiers were defined as suffering from moderate and light wounds following the blast.

The Israeli military said the soldiers were on the Israeli side of the border when they were targeted.

"Two soldiers were injured by an explosive device. It was activated against them during activity near the Lebanon border," a military spokeswoman said. "Initial reports indicate it was intended to attack soldiers."

A second explosive charge was also detonated in the Har Dov (Shabaa Farms) area on the Lebanese border two hours later, close to the location of the first blast. No one was hurt in the second explosion.

Earlier, Al-Manar, Hezbollah's official news outlet, reported powerful explosions heard in the Har Dov area bordering Israel. According to the reports, a large cloud of smoke was seen billowing from the site.

In response to the attack, Lebanese Al Meyadeen news site reported that the IDF had directed artillery fire to the area of Kfar Shouba and Al-Haraba. The report added that the explosive was detonated as an armored IDF vehicle passed next to it.

The IDF dispatched two medical helicopters to the scene to evacuate the two wounded soldiers, and likewise has raised preparedness and reinforced troops in the area.

The attack comes amid rising tensions along the border; just two days ago, IDF forces clashed with the Lebanese army in the same area, with the IDF opening fire on suspects who attempted to infiltrate into Israel, apparently to conduct a terror attack.

Unnamed security sources said a Lebanese army soldier was wounded in the incident, leading to speculation as to whether the army was part of the infiltration attempt.

Hezbollah, which is sworn to Israel's destruction, has recently had its attention and resources diverted to Syria, where it is helping to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad against an array of Sunni rebel forces. Just recently fighting between Hezbollah and Al Qaeda's Nusra Front left eight Hezbollah terrorists dead.

But the Iranian proxy group has sporadically targeted Israeli forces along the border in similar attacks in the past few years, including one just over a year ago which wounded four soldiers.

Tuesday's incident was the first time Hezbollah has carried out an attack against Israeli forces in the area since a March blast that caused no casualties.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for that attack a month later, with its chief Hassan Nasrallah saying it was "part of the reply" to Israeli air strikes against the group's positions in Lebanon.