TEL AVIV (Feb. 24)
Two Israeli soldiers were killed instantly and two others were wounded when their tank struck a large mine near Barashit village in the southern Lebanon security zone Tuesday.
The dead soldiers were identified as Sgt. Gavriel Permutti of Herzliya and Cpl. Amir Zibner of Motza. Israel Defense Force sources said the mine appears to have contained 100 pounds of explosives, but could have been planted by one person.
The tank commander and the gunner, though wounded, extricated themselves from the crippled lank and reached an IDF infantry squad on routine patrol.
The incident occurred less than 300 yards from a position manned by the Irish contingent of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, on a dirt road frequently used by U.N. troops. A UNIFIL source explained that bad weather and high winds made it difficult to hear or see whoever planted the mine.
The Barashit region has been a hotbed of terrorist activity for some time. The village is known to be a haven for various Shiite Moslem extremist groups.