Hezbollah: We sent drone into Israel airspace

Lebanon's Hezbollah chief, Hassan Nasrallah, addresses thousands of supporters who took to the streets of southern Beirut to denounce a film mocking Islam Sept. 17, 2012. AFP/Getty Images

JERUSALEM Hezbollah acknowledged it sent a drone aircraft into Israeli airspace earlier this week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Lebanese militant group of doing it

The unmanned aircraft was shot down by Israel, but the infiltration marked a rare breach of Israel's airspace. No one took immediate responsibility, but Hezbollah was the leading suspect because of its arsenal of sophisticated Iranian weapons and a history of trying to deploy similar aircraft.

The rare admission Thursday by Hassan Nasrallah raises regional tensions at a sensitive time when the group's backers, Syria and Iran, are under pressure. Reuters reports Nasrallah said the drone was Iranian-made in a televised speech.

Touring southern Israel earlier Thursday, Netanyahu praised the efforts to prevent land infiltrations from Egypt. He mentioned that Israel has been equally successful "in the air, just like we thwarted the Hezbollah attempt last weekend," his first public statement blaming Hezbollah.

Israel says the drone was not carrying explosives and appeared to be on a reconnaissance mission.

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