Militants behind attack on Israeli army vehicle in Golan: IDF

Militants behind attack on Israeli army vehicle in Golan: IDF

JERUSALEM, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- An initial investigation into a blast that targeted an Israeli military patrol in the northern Golan Heights concluded that militants were behind the attack, the army announced on Saturday.

The explosion, near the Druze village of Majdal Shams, was caused by a concealed explosive device planted on the Syrian side of the border, an army statement said.

There were no casualties in the incident. The device detonated as an armor-plated IDF jeep on a routine patrol drove along a fixed route on the Israeli side of the border. Shrapnel from the blast damaged its read window.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The incident marked the first time that an explosive device was used to target Israeli troops stationed in the Golan, where Israeli forces occasionally come under mortar attacks and gunfire, and an escalation along the already tense cease-fire line between Israel and Syria.

On Sunday, Israeli paratroopers engaged a Syrian army position after coming under small-arms fire from across the border. A Syrian soldier, who is said to have initiated the attack, was reportedly killed in the return fire.

Earlier in the day, a Syrian mortar shell exploded in the village of Majdal Shams, causing no injuries.