Two Palestinian Fighters Killed by Israelis in South Lebanon
Two Palestinian members of a Syrian-based group were killed and a third wounded by Israeli fire in southern Lebanon Friday, said press reports.
It was the first time that armed Palestinians had been found in the area since the Israelis ended their occupation of southern Lebanon in May last year, said AFP.
Haaretz newspaper said a Lebanese goatherd had found the bodies in a mountainous area near the village of Bastara, about a kilometer (0.6 mile) from the disputed Shabaa Farms area held by Israel.
One body had been recovered and cards proving membership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) were found on it.
The other body, as well as the wounded man, named as Suheil Aabbad, were spirited away by the Lebanese Hizbollah movement, which has close links with the PFLP-GC. Haaretz newspaper, however, said that Aabbad was killed in the incident.
Lebanese security sources said late Friday that the Israelis had hit the area round Bastara with tank shells and heavy machine-gun fire for some two hours.
The bodies of the two Palestinians were found only Saturday by the goatherd. They were wearing combat uniforms and carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and backpacks full of ammunition.
The goatherd had brought back one of the bodies in his truck, a Lebanese source told AFP.
A PFLP-GC spokesman in Beirut refused to comment "for the moment" on the incident, AFP added.
According to Haaretz, Israeli tanks and helicopters opened fire on the three men.
Ahmad Jibril's Damascus-based PFLP-GC split from George Habash's PFLP in 1968.
It has bases in Lebanon and is violently opposed to the peace process and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat -- Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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