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Hezbollah Leader Regrets Kidnapping that Led to War with Israel


Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah says he regrets the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers that sparked more than a month of warfare with Israel.

Nasrallah told Lebanese television Sunday if he had known the kidnapping would have led to such a war, he would not do it again.

He also said Italy and the United Nations have shown interest in taking part in possible talks on a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hezbollah.

Hezbollah seized the two Israeli soldiers during a cross-border raid July 12th. The raid led to 34 days of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah fighters and widespread destruction in Lebanon.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is to visit Beirut Monday. The United Nations is to expand its two-thousand-strong force in southern Lebanon to 15-thousand soldiers.

In an interview with Time magazine, Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said the objective of the expanded force is not to destroy Hezbollah. Italy is to contribute up to three-thousand soldiers to the U.N. force.

Meanwhile, Israel says its forces have uncovered a Hezbollah bunker in southern Lebanon close to the Israeli border town of Rosh Hanikra. Israeli military officials say rocket launching materials were among the items found in the bunker.

Information for this report is provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.

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