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Lebanese Troops Deploy on Israeli Border


Lebanese troops have deployed along the Israeli border for the first time in decades, taking up positions vacated by the Israeli army.

Lebanese officials say several hundred soldiers, backed by U.N. peacekeepers, deployed Saturday in two areas on the border's western sector - near the coastal town of Naqoura, also known as Ras Naqoura, and the village of Labbuneh.

Both areas are about 100 meters north of the Israeli border.

Lebanese troops began deploying in south Lebanon in August after a U.N. ceasefire ended a month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, President Bush named a delegation of business leaders to visit Lebanon and help the war-torn country rebuild following the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. The White House said the delegation will meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and visit areas bombed by Israel.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Dina Habib Powell will lead the group.

Israeli forces have been gradually pulling out from Lebanese territory captured during the war with Hezbollah that ended in August. The head of U.N. troops in south Lebanon has said he expects Israeli troops to finish withdrawing from Lebanon by the end of this month.

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