Lebanon: Seven Israeli soldiers dead as Halutz expects week of fightings
Seven Israeli soldiers were killed and 11 seriously injured in heavy clashes Saturday with Hizbullah forces in south Lebanon, after Israel expanded its ground operation in the area.
Under cover of intense artillery fire, Israeli forces reached the Litani River, which is some 20 to 30 kilometers inside Lebanon, Israeli military officials said Saturday evening. As part of the expanded operation, Israeli helicopters dropped a large number of Israeli troops deep inside Lebanese territory on Saturday, Haaretz reported.
Israeli military officials said that at least 40 Hizbullah fighters had been killed in clashes on Saturday.
Israel has nearly tripled the number of forces in Lebanon as part of its expanded ground war, and expects to fight for another week, despite a United Nations cease-fire resolution, Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said Saturday. Halutz said Israeli troops would stay in Lebanon until an international force arrives. "We have almost tripled our forces that are operating in Lebanon," Halutz told reporters.
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