TEL AVIV (Oct. 19)
Two Israeli border policemen were killed and a third was wounded near Sidon in south Lebanon last night. A military spokesman said the men were the victims of a roadside ambush aimed at two army jeeps they were escorting in convoy.
The deaths were the first Israeli fatalities since the army was redeployed from the Shouf mountains to the Awali River security zone six weeks ago. None of the victims was identified by name.
One was described as a 20-year-old reservist doing his compulsory military service who survived the collapse of a building in Sidon just a year ago. After recovering from injuries he insisted on rejoining his unit in Lebanon. The other man killed had just joined the unit.
WELL PLANNED AMBUSH
According to a military spokesman, the Israeli vehicles come under small aims and bazooka fire near the southern approaches to Sidon at 9:30 p.m. local time. Several hand grenades were thrown at the convoy from nearby buildings. Israeli soldiers in the jeeps returned the fire. Reinforcements were summoned and the area was searched.
According to Israel Radio, the ambush appeared to have been well planned and was located in abandoned buildings overlooking the road. The attackers managed to escape by mingling with local residents of the densely populated area. Six ambush attempts on Israeli units occurred in the same region during the past week, Israel Radio said.
Meanwhile, three Katyusha rockets exploded in an open field south of the Zaharani River in the Israel-occupied zone last night, a military spokesman reported. There were no casualties or damage. A search yielded two improvised rocket launchers.