TEL AVIV (Jun. 28)
A military spokesman confirmed that five Israeli sailors were wounded in an exchange of fire between Israeli naval craft and a “PLO boat” today near Aranib island, four miles off the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli. The “PLO boat” was sunk, the spokesman said.
The island, the target of heavy Israeli air attacks and naval bombardment yesterday and of a renewed naval attack today, purportedly is a training base and point of departure for terrorists. It is said to be used by an extremist Islamic faction supportive of Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat.
According to the Israel Defense Force spokesman, Israeli aircraft struck at two buildings and a number of shelters on the island, several firing positions and a boat offshore. All planes returned safely to their bases despite anti-aircraft fire. Reports from Beirut and Tripoli said two Israeli planes carried out the bombardment and two others flew guard.
The Israelis released no details of the naval action today. Reports from Tripoli said two large warships escorting two smaller gunboats opened fire on the island at dawn. (By Hugh Orgel)