June 30, 2005

Hizbollah, Israeli troops trade fire – army

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeliforces fought a gun battle on Thursday for the second dayrunning in the worst violence for months at the tense Lebaneseborder, Israel said.

The firefight continued and Israeli troops believed thatthey had hit one Hizbollah guerrilla, but there was noconfirmation. There was no report of Israeli casualties.

Hizbollah said it had no immediate information.

An Israeli soldier was killed in a Hizbollah attack in thesame Shebaa Farms area on Wednesday in the worst flareup sinceJanuary.

Israeli warplanes later struck the outskirts of two southLebanese border villages. The army said it had attackedHizbollah posts.

Hizbollah was instrumental in ending Israel's 22-yearoccupation of southern Lebanon in 2000. The two foes haveclashed sporadically in the Shebaa Farms since.

The United Nations says Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon iscomplete and the Shebaa Farms is Israeli-occupied Syrian land.Lebanon and Syria say the area is still occupied Lebanese soil.

A U.N. resolution called last year for Syria to withdrawfrom Lebanon and Hizbollah to disarm. Syrian troops pulled outin April under Lebanese and international pressure but theguerrilla group vowed not to lay down its weapons.