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Israel Shells Lebanon, Killing Four

September 1, 1999

MARJAYOUN, Lebanon (AP) _ Israel shelled villages in southern Lebanon on Wednesday, killing two civilians, after a guerrilla’s bomb killed two Israeli-allied militiamen, security officials said.

Israeli warplanes also bombed suspected guerrilla hideouts in southeastern Lebanon, the Lebanese security officials said. There was no immediate report of casualties.

Residents of northern Israel have been instructed to go to bomb shelters, apparently in anticipation of retaliatory attacks from Lebanese guerrillas, Israeli television reported Wednesday night.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrilla group, which is fighting to oust Israeli troops from the zone they occupy in southern Lebanon, has in the past fired rockets on northern Israel to take revenge for civilian casualties.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the Wednesday afternoon roadside bombing, which targeted a patrol of militiamen from the South Lebanon Army near the town of Hasbaya, about six miles north of the Israeli border.

A Hezbollah official in Beirut, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the guerrillas detonated another bomb in the same area 15 minutes after the first one, inflicting casualties among members of the SLA patrol. There was no independent confirmation of the claim.

The attack triggered large-scale shelling of several villages, including Qilya and Libbaya in the southern Bekaa Valley. Two civilians, Hussein Akl, 18, and Fatima al-Jabali, 35, were killed and seven others were wounded in the shelling on Libbaya, including a 12-year-old boy and his mother.

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