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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Syria to close border if UN blocks arms to Hezbollah

SYRIA has threatened to close its border if UN peacekeepers try to prevent arms shipments to Hezbollah as Israel today described the situation in Lebanon as "explosive".

A cease-fire was further shaken by artillery shells and explosions that killed three Lebanese soldiers and an Israeli.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora yesterday asked the US to help lift an Israeli blockade on his country's coast and airport - something Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said would not happen until UN troops are deployed along the Lebanon-Syria border to block the flow of weapons.

Hezbollah's vast arsenal of rockets and other weapons, much of which is believed to originate in Iran, reaches the guerrillas across the Syrian border.

European Union ambassadors and deputies met in Brussels to drum up volunteers for the force, but tentative pledges had reached just 4200 troops by yesterday - far short of the 15,000 called for by the UN's cease-fire resolution.

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