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Israel shoots down drone from Lebanon: Israeli military

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli fighter plane shot down a drone from Lebanon over the Mediterranean sea on Thursday as it was approaching the Israeli coast, the military said.

"I view with great gravity this attempt to violate our border. We will continue to do what is necessary to defend the security of Israel's citizens," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

The military said the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was detected in Lebanese skies and intercepted by a F-16 fighter jet some five nautical miles from the Israeli port city of Haifa.

The Israeli navy was searching for the wreckage in the sea, a statement said.

It was the second time a drone from Lebanon has been intercepted in Israeli air space in the past seven months.

Last October, an Israel missile shot down a UAV sent by Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah after it flew some 35 miles into southern Israel.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller, Editing by Crispian Balmer)

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