BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 2 (UPI) — Hezbollah accused Israel of killing a Lebanese shepherd in the disputed region of Shabaa Farms in south Lebanon and vowed to avenge the slaying. The 17-year-old shepherd and a hunter disappeared Wednesday afternoon in the area, a common backdrop to Hezbollah-Israeli skirmishes. The hunter returned safely, but the shepherd’s body was found Thursday in the area by U.N. peacekeeping forces in south Lebanon, known as UNIFIL.

The body, riddled with bullets, was taken to a nearby hospital where the victim’s family and co-villagers gathered, shouting anti-Israeli slogans to protest against Israel’s frequent violations of the U.N.-drawn Blue Line along the border. Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel Wednesday against killing the Lebanese shepherd, vowing to retaliate "without taking permission from anyone." He said Hezbollah militants will punish the killers without hesitation.

In fact, tension and caution prevailed on both sides of the volatile border following Hezbollah’s threats.

In another incident, gunmen tossed a hand grenade at the entrance of a Lebanese army barrack in Beirut after midnight Thursday, slightly injuring a soldier and causing minor damage.

A purported spokesman for al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the attack and called for the release of 13 detainees who are being interrogated by the military judiciary on suspicion of belonging to the terrorist group.

Beirut’s daily al-Balad said it received an anonymous phone call threatening more attacks if the suspected al-Qaida activists were not released.