7 Israeli Soldiers Wounded in Lebanon over Weekend

A military spokesman reported today that five Israeli soldiers were wounded by mines since Saturday and two more by terrorist fire in a clash south of Beirut yesterday. He also disclosed that two terrorist leaders were killed in fighting on the beach north of Sidon last week.

Three of the mine victims were injured Saturday night east of Sidon and two others northeast of Lake Karoun yesterday morning. The spokesman said that Israeli troops and forces of the Palestine Liberation Organization exchanged fire yesterday morning in the area of the Beirut airport south of the city. The Israelis used only light arms, he said. He reported that seven Israeli soldiers were wounded earlier when either PLO terrorists or Syrians opened fire on Israeli patrols and vehicles north of the Beirut-Damascus highway and east of Tyre.

The terrorists killed near Sidon last week were identified as Azmi Zarir, commander of the Abu Yussuf Al Nager battalion of El Fatah and his deputy, Jackie Auesti. Zarir is believed to have planned and participated in the terrorist attack on the Savoy Hotel near the Tel Aviv beachfront in 1975 and the coastal road massacre in March, 1978.

He and Auesti escaped from their command post in Tyre on the first day of fighting in Lebanon, last June 6, and had been hiding out and forcing local villagers to feed them, an Israeli military spokesman said. He said that since Zarir’s death, many terrorists have surrended to Israeli forces.

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