Israeli Warplanes Attack In Southern Lebanon
NABATIYEH, Lebanon (AP) _ Israeli warplanes attacked bases of Shiite Muslim guerrillas in two raids Thursday as artillery duels raged across southern Lebanon. Police said four guerrillas were wounded.
Four fighter-bombers fired four rockets on hilltop positions held by Hezbollah guerrillas in Mlita and Jabal el-Rafih, which overlook the market town of Nabatiyeh.
Two other jets attacked Jabal al-Rafih again 10 minutes later with four more rockets, police said.
Lebanese army anti-aircraft guns opened up from Nabatiyeh’s vicinity. No hits were observed.
An Israeli army statement said the planes had gone after ″terrorist targets″ used by Hezbollah as launching pads for attacks against Israel. The statement reported hits and said all planes returned safely to base.
Thursday’s air assaults followed exchanges of artillery and mortar fire between Hezbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops and allied Lebanese militiamen.
An hour before the air raids, guerrillas firing mortar shells and rocket- propelled grenades attacked an outpost manned by Israeli troops and surrogate South Lebanon Army militiamen, a Hezbollah statement said.
The statement claimed two Israeli Merkava tanks were destroyed and their crews killed. It made no mention of Hezbollah casualties.
Security sources in nearby Marjayoun said one Lebanese militiaman was slightly wounded.
Hezbollah has been waging a guerrilla war to dislodge Israel from a buffer zone it occupies in southern Lebanon to protect its northern settlements from guerrilla infiltration.
Hezbollah and radical Palestinian guerrillas factions have vowed to wreck Arab-Israeli peace talks through escalated attacks from southern Lebanon.