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Israeli Army Takes Control of Lebanese Border Village


The Israeli army says it has ousted Hezbollah guerrillas from a key southern Lebanese village.

General Beni Gantz says troops took control of Maroun al-Ras after intense fighting that left several Hezbollah militants wounded. The group used the village as a vantage point over the Israeli border.

Earlier today-Saturday, Israeli warplanes destroyed transmission towers for television stations and mobile phones in Fartqa and Terbol in northern Lebanon. The strikes killed one employee of Lebanon's LBC television station.

In other developments, Hezbollah fired more rockets at northern Israeli cities, wounding several people and destroying cars and buildings. The rockets hit the port city of Haifa, Carmiel and Nahariya.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the Bush administration is rushing the delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel. The newspaper, citing U.S. officials, says that Israel requested the quick shipment of the bombs. They are part of a multi-million-dollar arms sale package approved last year.

Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets over southern Lebanon on Friday, urging civilians to move north of the Litani River, about 30 kilometers north of the Israeli border.

In Beirut, President Emile Lahoud said the Lebanese army will defend the country and prove that it is an army worthy of respect.

Israel's offensive started when Hezbollah kidnapped two soldiers and killed eight in a July 12th raid into Israel. More than 300 Lebanese and 34 Israelis have been killed in the violence, with another 500 Lebanese and 200 Israelis wounded.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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