Israeli forces in southern Lebanon on Thursday ambushed a band of Palestinian guerrillas attempting to raid northern Israel, killing four of them, Israeli officials said.
A fifth guerrilla escaped and soldiers were searching for him in an area about three miles north of the border, Israel Radio reported.
Maj. Gen. Yossi Peled, chief of the army’s Northern Command, said that the leaflets found on the four men referred to “carrying out a hostage-taking mission in Israel,” the radio said.
Soviet-made rifles, shoulder-fired missiles, hand grenades and shears for cutting barbed wire were found near the bodies, the radio report added.
An army spokesman said the guerrillas belonged to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a radical faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and were caught near El Jibene village, 46 miles south of Beirut.
This was the second infiltration attempt in a week that Israel has blamed on the Democratic Front. The army reported Feb. 23 that soldiers had killed three of its guerrillas in the security zone.