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Israeli Planes Hit Palestinian Targets at Sidon

May 09, 1987|Associated Press

SIDON, Lebanon — Israeli warplanes bombed and strafed Palestinian targets around this port city Friday for the second time in three days, killing 10 people and wounding 40, police said.

The 15-minute raids came hours after Palestinian guerrillas trying to launch a raid on Israel clashed with troops in Israel's proclaimed "security zone" in southern Lebanon. Israel said that two guerrillas died in the clash, while the Palestinians claimed that three were killed.

A police report said that six Israeli jets staged three bombing and strafing runs over the refugee camps of Ein el Hilwa and Miye ou Miye.

The worst damage was in one densely populated Ein el Hilwa neighborhood, where a block of 20 houses was destroyed. Seven children were among the wounded, police said.

Deflected Missiles

A position manned by guerrillas of the Palestine Liberation Organization's mainstream Fatah faction on the edge of Ein el Hilwa was also attacked, but no casualties were reported there. The guerrillas fired Soviet-made anti-aircraft missiles at the attacking planes, but these were deflected by hot-air balloons released by Israeli pilots.

It was Israel's 15th air raid in Lebanon this year, bringing the overall reported casualty toll of the strikes to 52 killed and 146 wounded.

Ten people were killed and 28 were wounded in the Israeli air attack on Ein el Hilwa on Wednesday.

An Israeli army statement issued in Tel Aviv said that soldiers in southern Lebanon encountered a "terrorist band" on a hostage-taking mission Thursday night and killed two of its members.

PLO Communique

An Israeli army spokesman said three other guerrillas were wounded in the Thursday night clash. He reported no Israeli casualties.

In a communique, the PLO said that its leader, Yasser Arafat, ordered a guerrilla attack on the northern Israeli town of Nahariya to avenge Wednesday's Israeli air strike.

An Israeli patrol intercepted the guerrillas in Israel's security zone just north of the border and called in gunships, according to a PLO statement issued in Sidon. Three Palestinian guerrillas were killed and 15 Israeli soldiers were injured in the ensuing chase, the statement said.

The escalation of violence in south Lebanon came after major PLO factions reconciled in a meeting in Algiers last month and pledged to continue their armed fight against Israel.

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