Hezbollah and Israeli forces exchanged barrages of shells and rockets across the Lebanese border Friday, and Israeli warplanes struck guerrilla positions in the heaviest clash in months between the two sides.
The exchange began when &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/hotspots/2001/07/01/9075.html ' target=_blank>Hezbollah fighters fired a volley of shells and rockets at Israeli positions in the disputed border area of Chebaa Farms, witnesses said. Israeli forces retaliated with artillery fire against the apparent source of the fire in the Lebanese village of Kfar Chouba.
Witnesses counted at least 45 Israeli shells, informs the News Day.
Israeli warplanes struck two positions with missiles north and south of Kfar Chouba, and helicopter gunships struck a suspected Hezbollah outpost about 300 yards across the border from the Israeli town of Metullah, witnesses and reporters said.
According to Reuters, witnesses said several Hizbollah shells had struck the Israeli Rweisat al-Alam post. The Israeli military said guerrillas in Lebanon fired six rockets or mortar bombs which fell near an Israeli army post along the border. Four explosions and gunfire had been heard in the Shebaa Farms, on the border between Lebanon, Israel and Syria's Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, earlier on Friday.
Two explosions were also heard in the area overnight.
The clash comes after a spokeswoman for &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/11/21/39746.html ' target=_blank>Kofi Annan said the U.N. secretary-general was "gravely concerned" about the reports and urged Lebanon to put an end to all such attacks.
"The secretary-general urges all parties to fully respect the Blue Line and reminds them that one violation of the Blue Line cannot justify another," she said, referring to the U.N.-drawn line marking the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.