Shiite Village Shelled After Pro-Israeli Militia Patrol Ambushed
TYRE, Lebanon (AP) _ Tanks fired at a Shiite Muslim village from Isreal’s ″security zone″ in southern Lebanon for four hours Sunday after a pro-Israeli militia patrol was ambushed. Police said one militiaman and five villagers were injured.
The South Lebanon Army patrol was raked by gunfire on a dirt road between the villages of Shakra and Houla inside the security zone at about noon, a police spokesman said.
The wounded militiaman was flown by an Israeli military helicopter to Israel’s northern port of Haifa for treatment, said the spokesman, who cannot be named under standing rules.
Houla is inside the enclave that Israel occupies as a buffer against cross- border raids. Shakra is about 50 yards west, inside the area patrolled by the Irish battalion of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon.
The police spokesman said 80 rounds of tank fire were fired on Shakra from the Israeli-held enclave during the bombardment, which was unleashed minutes after the ambush, wounding five villagers.
In Beirut, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, or Party of God, said it staged the ambush and claimed four SLA militiamen were killed and ″many others wounded.″
Police in Tyre and security sources close to the U.N. force, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said only one militiamen was wounded.
Israel carved out the 440-square-mile security zone in 1985, when it withdrew the bulk of its occupation army, three years after invading Lebanon to crush the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The zone overlaps with an area policed by the 5,800-strong U.N. peacekeeping force stationed in southern Lebanon since 1978. There was no report of U.N. involvement in Sunday’s violence.