Khiam is situated approximately 130 kilometres (81 mi) south from the capital city of Beirut and 35 kilometres (22 mi) south-east from the city of Nabatieh. The border with Israel is 5 kilometres (3 mi) to the south. Khiam lies at a height of 800 metres (2,625 ft) above sea level.
During the 1990s Khiam became known for the Khiam Detention Center, operated by the South Lebanon Army during the Israeli occupation southern of Lebanon. Some Lebanese civilians were exposed to torture in this camp and faced indefinite detention once arrested. The prison was captured by Hezbollah during the Battle of Khiam in 2000, shortly before Israeli withdrawal from the South Lebanon security belt.
The town saw a major confrontation between the Israeli Army and Hezbollah fighters in the 2006 Lebanon War during which a United Nations post was bombed by the Israeli Army killing four United Nations Military Observers.
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