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Ex-Fighters From Lebanon to Help Thwart Bombers

June 26, 2003|From Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Some members of a disbanded Lebanese militia that fought alongside Israel during its lengthy occupation of southern Lebanon will become guards on Israeli buses, trying to stop Palestinian suicide attacks, an official said Wednesday.

Avner Ovadia, a Transportation Ministry spokesman, said the former fighters will help identify and apprehend would-be bus bombers.

South Lebanon Army militiamen and their families, totaling about 7,000, fled into Israel when Israeli forces pulled out in 2000, ending the Jewish state's occupation of a strip of Lebanon and persistent conflict with Hezbollah militants.

Palestinian suicide bombers have blown up many Israeli buses during nearly 33 months of Palestinian-Israeli violence, killing and wounding hundreds.

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