BEIRUT — Lebanese and Israeli soldiers exchanged tank and automatic weapons fire on the edge of Israel's occupation zone in southern Lebanon today, the Lebanese army command said, and Israel later reported that one of its soldiers was killed.
The Lebanese command said the Israelis pulled back after a two-hour battle.
The Israeli soldier was believed to be the first killed by the Lebanese army since Israel invaded Lebanon on June 6, 1982. The other 619 Israelis known to have died in Lebanon were killed in fighting with the Palestine Liberation Organization, in ambushes carried out by Palestinian and Lebanese guerrillas, and in accidents.
Shia Militiamen Killed
No Lebanese army casualties were reported in an announcement by the Israeli military command in Tel Aviv. But Israeli military sources there said two militiamen from the Shia Muslim Amal organization also were killed in the fighting.
Israel said its soldiers, on "routine operations," were chasing suspected guerrillas when fired upon by Lebanese army troops stationed in Kawthariet as-Sayad. "An (Israeli) soldier was killed by the fire. Our forces returned fire," the announcement added.