Israeli forces have suffered serious losses with at least 13 soldiers reportedly killed as they fought Hizbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon. Several others were wounded. They were airlifted to Haifa in northern Israel for treatment.
The toll reported by Arabic television, if confirmed, would be the heaviest for Israel’s army since it launched an offensive against Hizbollah two weeks ago. With fighting raging on the ground, Israeli warplanes launched more than 50 strikes across southern Lebanon.
Hizbollah fighters battled to prevent Israeli forces from capturing the town of Bint Jbeil in the heaviest fighting of the campaign so far.
The surrounding area controls the high ground in the central sector of the border zone. Israel is believed to be attempting to establish a “no-go” zone for the guerrillas until an international force arrives to take over.