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Israel-Hezbollah Ceasefire Takes Effect


Israeli forces and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon have stopped more than a month of fighting after a U.N.-mediated ceasefire took hold earlier today (Monday).

No major clashes have been reported since the ceasefire took effect. But the Israeli military says its troops shot dead two Hezbollah fighters in separate incidents.

A VOA correspondent in Beirut says traffic is returning to normal, and another correspondent in Tyre says Israeli air and artillery strikes have stopped.

Thousands of displaced Lebanese are jamming roads as they try to return to their villages in the south.

The Israeli military says its forces will hold most positions seized in recent days. It says the air and sea blockade of Lebanon will continue until an international system is in place to prevent arms shipments to Hezbollah.

U.N. officials met today (Monday) with Israeli and Lebanese army officials to discuss the transfer of Lebanese territory now under Israeli control.

The U.N. special envoy to the Middle East Alvaro de Soto says international peacekeepers should arrive in Lebanon within days.

Heavy fighting continued in southern Lebanon up to the final minutes before the ceasefire deadline.

Lebanese security officials say Israeli warplanes raided Hezbollah targets in eastern Lebanon shortly before 8 a.m. today. The officials say Israeli aircraft also killed seven people in an eastern village (Brital) in the Bekaa Valley late Sunday.

Israel says seven of its soldiers were killed Sunday, and that Hezbollah fired 250 rockets across the border, killing one civilian.

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