DATE=4/28/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=SOUTH LEBANON FIGHTING (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-261800 BYLINE=JENNY BADNER DATELINE=JERUSALEM CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Hezbollah guerrillas attacked an encampment of the pro-Israeli South Lebanon Army today/Friday, leaving an undetermined number of casualties. Jenny Badner reports from Jerusalem that Israeli warplanes responded with air raids shortly after the assault. TEXT: An Israeli-controlled outpost in southern Lebanon was attacked by Hezbollah guerrillas, killing an unconfirmed number of soldiers from the Israeli allied South Lebanon Army, or S-L-A. The assault occurred when a Hezbollah vehicle exploded in Aramta in the eastern sector of south Lebanon. A spokeswoman for the Israeli Army says several S-L-A soldiers were buried under the rubble after the blast brought down part of the outpost. One Israeli soldier was wounded in additional shelling by the guerrillas, as were an unknown number of fighters in the South Lebanon Army. Israeli warplanes responded with air raids on suspected Hezbollah strongholds shortly after the explosion. A United Nations position in the eastern sector of Israeli occupied southern Lebanon also was attacked. A Katyusha rocket, known to be used by Hezbollah, hit a U-N peacekeeping position in Ibl Saqi, although there were no reports of casualties. The renewed violence coincides with a visit by the U-N special envoy to the Middle East, Terje Larsen, to discuss Israel's plan to pull its troops out of southern Lebanon. Israel has occupied a 15-kilometer wide strip of land in southern Lebanon since 1985, saying it needs a buffer zone to protect residents in northern Israel from Hezbollah rocket attacks. Since then, Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas have fought a war of attrition against Israeli soldiers and the South Lebanon Army, a militia financed and trained by Israel. However, amid growing public pressure, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has pledged to withdraw Israeli soldiers from Lebanon by July. (Signed) NEB/JB/GE/JP 28-Apr-2000 09:24 AM EDT (28-Apr-2000 1324 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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