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Israeli forces push deeper in Lebanon battles

Written by: Staff
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TYRE, Lebanon, Aug 9 (Reuters) Israeli forces pushed deeper into some parts of south Lebanon today despite fierce resistance from Hizbollah guerrillas, Lebanese security sources said.

Hizbollah said its guerrillas had inflicted many casualties on Israeli soldiers and hit four tanks in several pitched battles on the 29th day of war between the two sides.

The group did not say if any of its own fighters had been killed or wounded.

The security sources said Israeli forces based in Taibeh, some 5 km from Israel, pushed west to the outskirts of the village of Qantara and north towards Burj al-Molouk and Qlaiah villages.

Hizbollah said its fighters confronted Israeli forces as they tried to advance on the outskirts of Qantara, 8 km from the border, and destroyed two tanks there, killing or wounding 10 soldiers.

The Israeli army said there had been clashes around Qantara but gave no details of casualties.

Hizbollah said it had also destroyed two tanks near Burj al-Molouk and inflicted casualties on Israeli forces at the village of Debel, 5 km from the border.

Fighting also was reported near the town of Bint Jbeil and the village of Aita al-Shaab, the sources said.

The Israeli army, which is trying to drive Hizbollah away from the border, says it has carved out a zone containing 20 villages up to 7 km from the border.

Israel's security cabinet convened today to consider whether to send troops deeper into Lebanon to fight Hizbollah. Israel already has about 10,000 soldiers in the south.

The war was triggered by Hizbollah's seizure of two Israeli soldiers in a July 12 cross-border raid.

REUTERS DKA HS1557

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