SIDON, LEBANON — Israeli warplanes blasted positions of guerrillas loyal to PLO chairman Yasser Arafat in south Lebanon Tuesday, security sources said. They said at least five people were killed or wounded in the strike on guerrilla targets near the port city of Sidon.
Israel has accused the Palestine Liberation Organization, which supports Iraq, of attempting to open a new front in the Gulf War by firing Katyusha rockets at Israel's self-declared security zone in south Lebanon.
The sources said the Israeli planes struck at four positions of the mainstream Fatah faction along the road from the Palestinian refugee camp of Miyeh Miyeh to the Iqlim al-Toufah area, just north of Israel's border buffer strip.
They said Palestinian guerrillas responded with artillery fire and shoulder-held, Soviet-designed SAM 7 missiles but failed to hit any Israeli planes.
The PLO has denied any involvement in the five successive days of rocket attacks against South Lebanon.
The Israeli military action was the second strike this year in south Lebanon.
Israeli and South Lebanon Army troops in the security zone had responded to the rocket attacks with artillery barrages on Palestinian refugee camps in the south and villages in Iqlim al-Toufah.
Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 to wipe out Palestinian guerrillas. The nine-mile deep buffer zone was set up in 1985 when the bulk of Israeli troops withdrew from the south.
An estimated 1,000 Israeli troops hold the zone with the SLA, which is trained, equipped and financed by Israel.