IDF Carries out Search Operations in Three Shiite Lebanese Villages

The Israel Defense Force carried out search operations this morning in three Lebanese villages at the edge of the security zone, according to reports from Tyre. The IDF troops, in tanks and armored personnel carriers, rounded up villagers in an area a few miles from a suicide-car bombing in a search for terrorists. The bombing was the seventh such attack on Israeli troops or the Israeli backed South Lebanon Army since June.

Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin told Israel Radio that today’s IDF activities in south Lebanon were designed to impress on members of the Shiite Amal living in the area that Israel would not allow them to act against Israel in the security zone.

He said: “We wanted to make it clear, by signalling to the Amal forces, that we are not going to tolerate any extension of the struggle over the security zone into Israel. And this was the purpose for the siege on the village of Kabrikha, which is the nearest village to the area from where Katyushas were fired against targets in Israel” last weekend.

“If there will be a decision — which I hope will not happen–we have warned them that if they do not keep the peace, nobody in south Lebanon will enjoy peace.”

BASES OF TERRORIST OPERATIONS

Rabin said that the IDF had enclosed the village of Kabrikha and carried out searches there because the Katyusha rockets which fell in the Galilee panhandle area this week had been fired from near that village.

The IDF spokesman announced that the army had operated in Kabrikha village as well as in the villages of Majdel Silk and Shakra because they had been the areas from which the Katyushas had been fired.

Military sources said that quantities of arms and explosives had been found in the villages. They included Katyushas and rocket launchers, as well as roadside charges ready to be laid.

The house in which the explosives were found was destroyed, and several residents were detained. They will presumably be handed over to the SLA.

CAR-BOMB INCIDENT IN JEZZINE

Meanwhile, reports from Sidon said today that a large car-bomb had exploded near a South Lebanon Army (SLA) post near Jezzine in south Lebanon, apparently killing the terrorist driver and wounding at least two SLA soldiers.

It was believed that some 300 kilograms of explosives had been packed into the vehicle, and the sound of the explosion was heard in Sidon some 14 kilometers away. According to reports from Beirut, about 15 SLA men and Lebanese civilians had been injured in the blast.

A Beirut television broadcast reported that the terrorist had been a member of the “Assad Brigade,” said to be part of the Lebanese branch of the Syrian Baath Party.

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