Israel launched two air raids on Palestinian bases in Lebanon today as its Lebanese militia allies clashed with Muslim and Palestinian guerrillas in an apparently coordinated action.
A Palestinian official said 15 Palestinians were killed and 40 wounded in an air raid on targets in southern Lebanon, and witnesses said Israeli jets later returned to attack Palestinian bases near Beirut.
Security sources and witnesses said about 200 militiamen from the South Lebanon Army, backed by tanks, advanced from their base in the southern town of Jezzine to besiege Libaa, held by the Sunni Muslim Popular Liberation Army (PLA) and Palestinian guerrillas. The sources said four PLA fighters were killed and several wounded during fierce artillery battles.
The advance, the deepest by the SLA in three years, was launched shortly after two Israeli jets bombed and rocketed three bases of the Palestinian Fatah guerrilla group near the Miye ou Miye refugee camp on the eastern outskirts of Sidon. Israeli jets later struck guerrilla bases just south of Beirut.