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Israel Begins Pulling Some Troops Out of Lebanon Hours After Ceasefire


Some Israeli forces have begun withdrawing from Lebanon, shortly after a U.N.-mediated ceasefire to end more than a month went into effect (Monday at 0500 UTC). Israeli news media, however, report that at least one clash has taken place in the hours following the implementation of the truce.

Israeli commanders ordered troops to halt offensive operations as the ceasefire took effect at 8:00 a.m. local time. A short while later, some Israeli forces began withdrawing from Lebanon, although a military spokesman says others will remain in the country until a new United Nations peacekeeping force arrives.

Just before the ceasefire took effect, Israeli warplanes struck targets in various parts of Lebanon.

The U.N. special envoy to the Middle East, Alvaro de Soto, says the ceasefire will be monitored by 15-thousand international peacekeepers.

"It will have a robust capacity to assist the government of Lebanon to carry out its responsibilities."

Hezbollah militants have accepted the truce but say they may continue fighting as long as Israeli troops stay in Lebanon.

Israeli officials say under the U.N. ceasefire resolution they can respond to Hezbollah attacks.

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