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Israel Says It Will Complete Lebanon Withdrawal by Friday


Israel's military chief says the last Israeli troops in Lebanon will leave that country by Friday.

A member of the Israeli parliament Knesset, quotes Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz as telling members of a parliamentary committee that all remaining troops will likely leave Lebanon by the start of the Jewish New Year at sundown on Friday.

The Israeli government has said its troops will leave southern Lebanon once a U.N.-brokered ceasefire is fully implemented.

According to the ceasefire resolution, the United Nations will deploy up to 15,000 international peacekeepers to help the Lebanese army re-establish control in southern Lebanon and prevent Hezbollah from re-arming. So far, about 5,000 troops have arrived, with more expected this week.

Also Tuesday, the U.N.'s humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon says the organization wants Israel to provide the exact locations of unexploded cluster bombs so it can begin to defuse them.

The coordinator, David Shearer, says there are at least 350,000 unexploded cluster bomblets in southern Lebanon. He says Israel fired most of them in the last days of the month-long war.

Israel invaded Lebanon in mid-July after Hezbollah militants crossed the border, killing three Israeli troops and kidnapping two others.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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