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Israeli Jets Attack Lebanon Bases

January 14, 1999

RASHAYA, Lebanon (AP) _ Israeli warplanes attacked suspected guerrilla positions in southern Lebanon on Wednesday in one of the broadest attacks on southern Lebanon in recent years.

The Israeli jets struck five different areas along the frontline between Israeli troops and Lebanese guerrillas, Lebanese security officials said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

An Israeli army spokesman said that earlier raids were aimed at suspected guerrilla sites in response to mortar fire directed at an Israeli position.

The Lebanese Resistance Brigades, a Hezbollah-backed guerrilla group, said earlier Wednesday that its fighters had attacked an Israeli military outpost at Blatt near the Israeli border.

Hezbollah, or Party of God, said its guerrillas attacked Israeli positions facing the Iqlim al-Tuffah area south of Beirut.

Israel launched two night raids aimed at Iqlim al-Tuffah, which was hit by four air-to-surface missiles, Lebanese security officials said. They spoke on customary condition of anonymity.

Earlier, four Israeli jets fired about a dozen missiles in three sorties near the village of Zillaya, which is about 15 miles north of the Israeli border.

The area often has been used by Hezbollah guerrillas to launch attacks on Israeli troops and their Lebanese militia allies in an Israeli-occupied zone in southern Lebanon.

The Israeli jets returned later to fire two more missiles on a valley near Toumat Niha, which faces the occupied enclave in southern Lebanon and is about 6 miles north of Zillaya.

The planes also fired a single rocket near the southern port city of Tyre.

On Monday, Israeli warplanes pounded suspected guerrilla bases in Iqlim al-Tuffah with 14 missiles.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah is leading a guerrilla war to oust Israeli soldiers and their Lebanese allies from the self-styled ``security zone″ that Israel set up in south Lebanon in 1985.

Israel claims the occupation is needed to protect its northern towns from cross-border guerrilla attacks.

Update hourly