A leftist movement claimed responsibility Tuesday for an attempt to assassinate Maj. Gen. Antoine Lahad, commander of the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army.
Beirut newspapers published the claim by the Lebanese National Resistance Front, a coalition of anti-Israeli guerrillas, the day after a woman shot and wounded Lahad at his home in Israel’s self-designated security zone in southern Lebanon.
Lahad’s troops caught the attacker and were questioning her. The army commander was flown by helicopter to an Israeli hospital in Haifa, where a spokesman said he was in stable condition Tuesday.
The spokesman at Rambam Hospital told Israeli army radio that surgeons operated on Lahad’s right arm and upper chest.
Identified as Christian
The leftist front’s statement identified the attacker, Soha Bishara, 21, as a Christian from the southern Lebanon village of Deir Mimas, which is inside the security zone. It said she was a member of the Lebanese Communist Party from 1982 until 1987, when she joined the Lebanese National Resistance Front. The front includes the Communists.
The statement said the attempt on Lahad’s life was designed to support the 11-month-old Palestinian uprising in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Voice of the South, the radio of the South Lebanon Army, said Bishara worked at a health club patronized by Lahad’s wife, Minerva, who had invited her for tea.
Israeli media said Israeli army intelligence suspected Bishara was paid by a guerrilla organization.
When Lahad arrived at his home in Marjayoun on Monday night, Bishara shot him twice in the shoulder, the radio said. Marjayoun is 4 miles north of the Israeli border.
Lahad, a Maronite Christian and a retired officer of Lebanon’s regular army, took over his command in September, 1984, after his predecessor died of cancer.