Israel captures 5 Hezbollah militants in Lebanon: military

Israeli troops on Wednesday seized five Hezbollah militants during an airborne operation in the Lebanese town of Baalbek, a stronghold of Lebanon's Shiite group Hezbollah, the Israeli army said.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said that at least 10 Hezbollah guerillas were also killed in the overnight operation.

A statement issued by the army earlier in the day said that all the Israeli soldiers returned unharmed to their base.

No further details were revealed.

Meanwhile, the television channel al-Manar of Hezbollah reported early Wednesday that Hezbollah guerrillas clashed with a team of Israeli paratroopers west of Baalbek.

The Israeli army launched an airborne operation north of Baalbek late Tuesday night following its daytime airborne operation in southern Lebanon.

Israeli paratroopers with air and tank backup had been operating in southern Lebanon since pre-dawn Tuesday after Israel's security cabinet decided to widen ground offensives in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah stepped up rocket attacks across northern Israel on Wednesday, firing over 80 rockets into the area.

At least six Israelis were wounded.

Israel has pressed ahead a 22-day-old massive assault in Lebanon, which was launched on July 12 following the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah guerillas.

Source: Xinhua



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