MASHGHARAH, Lebanon — An armored column of Israeli troops and militia forces rumbled into the Syrian-held part of southern Lebanon on Friday and stormed a stronghold of the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, killing at least five extremists, security sources said.
Israeli military officials initially said they were not involved, but an army spokeswoman said later that Israeli troops participated in one of two attacks staged by their militia allies, the South Lebanon Army.
In a battle with rockets, mortars and heavy machine guns, the Hezbollah fighters tried to prevent the Israeli-led force from entering the village of Meidoun, the sources said.
A spokesman for the "Islamic Resistance," the military arm of Hezbollah, or Party of God, said the column managed to enter the Shiite Muslim village after two hours of hand-to-hand fighting.
Fundamentalist sources said at least five guerrillas were killed and six others wounded.