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Home >> World
UPDATED: 16:43, July 21, 2006
Israeli casualties increase in clashes with Hezbollah
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Four Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were killed on Thursday by mortar shell in clashes with Lebanese Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon, an IDF spokesman told Xinhua on Friday.

Meanwhile, a pilot was killed and three others were injured late Thursday night when two IDF Apache helicopters collided near Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel, the spokesman said.

During the cross-border operation, IDF destroyed some Hezbollah infrastructures, including an underground tunnel and a bunker for storing Katyusha rockets.

Five Israeli soldiers were also injured in the fierce clashes with Hezbollah.

Until now, the death toll of IDF soldiers in the Israel- Hezbollah conflict rose to 19. The Hezbollah casualty was not clear.

On Thursday morning, three IDF soldiers were wounded in two separate clashes with Hezbollah in the same region.

The capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah militants and rocket attacks on Israeli border areas prompted Israel to pound heavily Hezbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon on July 12.

Israel has demanded unconditional release of the captive soldiers and pullback of Hezbollah militants from the border area as condition for ceasefire.

Source: Xinhua


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