TEL AVIV (Jan. 6)
Israel Air Force jets blasted Egyptian positions in the southern sector of the Suez Canal zone for more than an hour today and returned safely to their bases. Earlier, Egyptian Air Force jets made their first appearance in two weeks in two attempts to bomb Israeli positions at the northern end of the canal zone.
A military spokesman said that four MIG-17s appeared over Kantara at nine a.m. local time and four Sukhov bombers came over 55 minutes later. He said the planes dropped their bombs harmlessly and turned tail. There were no casualties or damage done in either attack.
Last night an alert Israeli patrol repulsed an Egyptian commando attempt to land on the east bank of the Suez Canal near Port Tewfik. Nine Egyptians were found dead on the sand after the rest of the raiding party escaped under cover of an Egyptian artillery barrage. Blood stains indicated that other Egyptian commandos may have been hit.
CAIRO CLAIMS HUGE MILITARY VICTORY FOR EGYPT
(A military spokesman in Cairo claimed “huge victories” for Egyptian air and ground forces in the canal zone. According to Cairo, Egyptian air attacks and commando raids caught the Israelis by surprise and inflicted heavy casualties and severe damage. Cairo mentioned no Egyptian losses.)
An Israeli military spokesman said it was not clear what the mission was of the attempted Egyptian commando landing last night. He said the Egyptians did not appear to be heading for any military post or fortification but left behind a large quantity of arms and ammunition with their dead. The commandos were spotted by an Israeli patrol as they landed on the east bank of the canal at about 9:30 p.m. local time.
An Israeli military spokesman said the issue was decided in the first minutes of the encounter when Israeli salvoes ripped through the Egyptian force as it set foot on the beach. After a brief but sharp exchange of fire, the commandos retreated to their boats. There were no Israeli casualties despite heavy shelling from the Egyptian side of the canal.