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2 Israelis Injured by Mine, Others Hurt in Jordanian Rocket Attack in Beisan Valley

Two Israeli civilians were injured this morning when a tractor they were using hit a mine south of Manarah in Upper Galilee near the Lebanese border. Two other civilians were injured yesterday evening in a Jordanian rocket attack on the town of Beisan in the Beisan Valley. Electric wires were hit causing a temporary blackout but other damage was slight and there were no serious casualties, a military spokesman said today.

The Jordanian rocket attack, followed by an artillery barrage, was the first in more than two months directly aimed at civilian targets. It drew swift response from Israeli forces which blasted Jordanian positions around Irbid and other towns with artillery and mortar fire. The Jordanians started the shooting at 7:00 p.m. local time with Katushya 130mm. rocket-launchers, a Czechoslovakian-made weapon that has been increasingly used in recent weeks by Arab commando gangs operating from Jordan. Six rockets exploded in the middle of Beisan sending residents to bomb shelters. Israeli forces returned the fire with mortars zeroed in on the rocket-launcher positions. The Jordanians brought up their long-range “Long Tom” cannon and high trajectory howitzers which were answered in kind by Israeli artillery. An Israeli officer said the Jordanian guns were silenced.

Lebanese authorities said today that several mortar shells struck a Lebanese village near the Israel border. They claimed the shelling was a reprisal for an attack on an Israeli patrol near the Lebanese border Saturday in which two Israeli soldiers were killed.

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