BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) – Israeli forces entered a village in the southeast corner of Lebanon Saturday, but Israeli and Lebanese accounts differed over whether the Israeli military had taken control over the area.
Israel’s incursion into Maroun al-Ras came after it pounded the area with bombs and artillery throughout the night. The village is believed to be a launching point for rocket attacks on northern Israel.
Several Israeli soldiers, backed by artillery and tank fire, moved into the large village, Israeli military officials said on condition of anonymity citing the sensitivity of the information, and said it was under Israeli control.
But Lebanese security sources, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, said that the Israeli military had made incursions of only a few hundred meters (yards) into Maroun al-Ras and Yaroun villages.
Rockets that have hit the Israeli cities of Nazareth and Dbrayeh are believed to have been fired from Maroun al-Ras. Israeli air raids and artillery shelling also hit the southeast border town of Khiam, Lebanese television and witnesses reported.
U.N. peace keepers and witnesses said the Israeli incursion also briefely held the border village of Marwaheen before pulling back.
One person was killed and five wounded in overnight airstrikes on the southern town of Nabatiyeh, the Voice of Lebanon radio station said. The report could not immediately be confirmed. Nabatiyeh, located some 12 kilometers north of the border, was heavily bombed a day earlier.
Lebanese television said that Israeli artillery also shelled zones near the disputed Chebaa farms area. No report of casualties were immediately available.