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Israeli forces launched a campaign of airstrikes and shelling, mainly at targets in southern Lebanon, where reports said two civilians had been killed.

The United States condemned the Hezbollah raid, calling it a threat to regional stability. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is in Paris, urged all sides to act with restraint.

Israeli forces have not ventured more than a few yards into Lebanese territory since May 2000, when they withdrew from a self-created buffer zone, ending a nearly two decade occupation.

Hezbollah indicated that it intended to demand the freedom of Arab prisoners held inside Israel in exchange for the Israeli soldiers. Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim organization backed by Iran and Syria, said in a statement that the captured soldiers had been taken to "a secure place."
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