TEL AVIV (Feb. 19)
Two senior officers of the Israel Defense Force were killed in south Lebanon yesterday, bringing to three the number of fatalities sustained in the first 48 hours after the IDF completed the first stage of its withdrawal from south Lebanon Saturday. One Israeli soldier was wounded yesterday and another was wounded this morning.
Col. Avraham Hido, 41, of Kibbutz Shefayim, was gunned down when his convoy was ambushed in Salim village, north of Nabatiya. Maj. Shaul Zehavi, 27, of Petach Tikva, died when a roadside bomb detonated as his four-jeep patrol entered Al-Bazouriye village east of Tyre.
Hido was a liaison officer with the Israel-backed South Lebanon Army (SLA). He was travelling with another IDF officer and six aides from the liaison unit when their three-vehicle convoy came under small arms fire in Salim. The two officers returned the fire but came under a hail of bullets from three directions. Hido was mortally wounded and died a short while later. Two SLA soldiers were wounded.
Zehavi’s death and the wounding of a soldier in his patrol was caused by a five-kilogram explosive charge triggered by remote control at almost the same spot where Sgt. Shlomo Oleg Avrumov, 23, was killed-on Sunday. Avrumov was buried yesterday.
The Israeli soldier wounded today was also the victim of a roadside explosive just west of Lake Karoun in the eastern sector of the south Lebanon front. Two other attacks on IDF positions and patrols in south Lebanon today caused no casualties.