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Israeli Planes Bomb S. Lebanon

January 12, 2000

NABATIYEH, Lebanon (AP) _ Israeli warplanes struck at suspected guerrilla hideouts in southern Lebanon on Wednesday after an attack by Hezbollah guerrillas killed an Israel-allied militiaman.

The air attacks began at dawn when jets fired at least one missile near the village of Naba al-Tasseh in Iqlim al-Tuffah, a Hezbollah stronghold facing an Israeli-occupied enclave in southern Lebanon, Lebanon security officials said.

They returned several hours later to strike near Zibqine village, another suspected guerrilla infiltration trail. Later in the morning, warplanes fired at least two missiles on the hills of Milta, also in Iqlim al-Tuffah.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the raids which, according to the security officials, appeared to be in response to the guerrillas’ pre-dawn attack on the Sojod outpost on the northern edge of the Israeli-held border strip.

In a statement, Hezbollah said they detonated a bomb near a patrol of the Israeli-allied South Lebanon Army as it left the outpost. An hour-long exchange of fire followed, it added, in which the guerrillas destroyed a tank and killed its occupants.

In Israel, the army confirmed the death of one SLA soldier but said that no one was injured in the mortar fire exchange and that no damage was caused.

Israeli warplanes had blasted guerrilla positions in South Lebanon on Tuesday, injuring one civilian. The raid came shortly after two SLA militiamen were wounded in a guerrilla attack.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah has been waging a guerrilla war to dislodge some 1,500 Israeli soldiers and 2,500 SLA militiamen from the zone, occupied by Israel since 1985.

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