Hizbullah captures two Israeli soldiers, kills seven others
Hizbullah on Wednesday announced the capture of two Israeli soldiers. The claim was made after Israeli aircraft struck Hizbullah positions in southern Lebanon.
"Fulfilling its pledge to liberate the (Arab) prisoners and detainees, the Islamic Resistance ... captured two Israeli soldiers at the border with occupied Palestine," Hizbullah said in a statement. "The two captives were transferred to a safe place."
The Israeli army confirmed the claim. Tel Aviv said it held Lebanon "directly responsible" for their fate and safe return. "The Lebanese government is responsible for the fate of the Israeli soldiers, and must take immediate action to locate them without harming them and return them to Israel," the Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Later, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called an emergency Cabinet meeting and said Lebanese people would pay a "heavy price" for Wednesday's attacks.
"These are difficult days for the state of Israel and its citizens," Olmert said. "There are people ... who are trying to test our resolve. They will fail and they will pay a heavy price for their actions."
Reports have claimed at least seven Israeli soldiers were killed during the capture operation. Earlier, at least four Israeli civilians were injured when gunners in Lebanon bombed Israeli military posts along Israel's northern border Wednesday morning. Of the wounded, one was lightly to moderately injured and the rest were lightly wounded.
Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV reported that Israeli artillery pounded the outskirts of the villages of Aita el-Shaab, Ramieh and Yaroun in the hills east of the coastal border port of Naqoura. At least two Lebanese died.