Facebook Twitter

ISRAEL KILLS A HEZBOLLAH LEADER AND AIDE IN S. LEBANON RAID

SHARE ISRAEL KILLS A HEZBOLLAH LEADER AND AIDE IN S. LEBANON RAID

Israeli jets and helicopter gunships raided south Lebanon Friday, killing a senior Hezbollah guerrilla commander and an aide by blasting their car with an air-to-ground missile, police said.

An Israeli soldier also was reported killed and another seriously wounded in ground fighting that broke out on the edge of an enclave Israel occupies in south Lebanon, security sources said. Three guerrillas of the Iran-backed Hezbollah were wounded in the clash and subsequent artillery battles.The surge of violence on the last active Arab-Israeli war front came as Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev visited Beirut as part of a Middle East tour to speed up the peace process.

In Beirut, Kozyrev told a news conference the violence underscores "why it is imperative to achieve peace as soon as possible."

Kozyrev also indicated that Russia supports a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from its occupied region in south Lebanon.

Hezbollah is leading a guerrilla war to sabotage the peace process and dislodge Israel from Lebanon.

Police said Hezbollah commander Rida Yassin and an aide were killed when their Mercedes-Benz was hit by a missile on the road to Dirdghaya.

They identified Yassin as one of Hezbollah's top 10 leaders in south Lebanon. U.N. officers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Friday's attack was mounted by two Israeli Cobra gunships.

The ground battles began shortly after an airlift of Israeli troop reinforcements to the hilltop outposts of Sojod and Sweida in the center of the Israeli enclave.

The troops were brought in after a heavy artillery and tank bombardment on eight villages held by Hezbollah guerrillas in the zone's northern edge, police said.