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Israel foils kidnapping attempts

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Israel has stopped at least two attempts to kidnap its citizens abroad.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed Tuesday that Israel recently foiled attempts to kidnap Israelis abroad, Yediot Achranot reported. The newspaper reported that a senior security force said that five attempted kidnappings by Hezbollah operatives had been foiled; other Israeli publications put the number at two.

The attempted kidnappings were prevented with assistance from foreign intelligence services. Israel’s military censor has banned publication of details of the attempts.

The plots were stopped at advanced stages, Haaretz reported.

The attempted kidnappings are reportedly being planned as revenge for the killing of Hezbollah’s operations chief Imad Mughniyeh, killed in February in a car bombing in Damascus. Hezbollah blames Israel for the attack, though Israel has denied involvement in the bombing.

The revelation of the foiled kidnappings comes two weeks after Israel’s counter-terrorism bureau issued a travel advisory warning Israelis traveling abroad of the danger of being kidnapped by Hezbollah and asked travelers to take certain precautions.

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