TEL AVIV — THREE Arab guerrillas and an Israeli soldier were killed in a clash early yesterday near the Lebanese border, a military spokesman said.
An Israeli patrol engaged a group of guerrillas in Israel's self-imposed security zone, a communique said.
The pro-Iranian Muslim fundamentalist group Hizbullah issued a statement saying a squad of its fighters had ambushed the Israeli patrol near the village of Srubine, east of Tyre.
After the initial engagement, an elite 50-man Israeli force led by four tanks under helicopter and artillery cover thrust out of the security zone in search of the attackers. The force clashed with guerrillas near the village of Hadatha, during which Israeli fighter-jets swept low over Beirut and the southern coast.
Israeli artillery bombed about 15 villages near Srubine and Hadatha to prevent guerrilla reinforcements from reaching the battlefield, a Lebanese military source said.
The clashes culminated a week of hit-and-run attacks against Israel and the South Lebanon Army.