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Israel Seizes Positions In Litani River Valley

Israeli tanks crossing into Lebanon earlier in the conflict (epa) August 10, 2006 -- Reports from southern Lebanon say Israeli forces entered the town of Marjayoun early today.

The report came just hours after the Israeli government approved a plan to expand its ground offensive against Hizballah.

Correspondents report Israeli troops, backed by tanks and armored vehicles, have seized strategic positions to the north of Marjayoun, which is about 9 kilometers from the border with Israel.

They say Israeli soldiers also are deployed in key locations overlooking the Litani River valley -- including the villages of Blatt and Bourj al-Mulouk.

Israeli Army Radio reports fierce battle in other villages across southern Lebanon.

Israel's cabinet on August 9 approved a plan to advance ground forces all the way to the Litani River -- about 30 kilometers north of Israel's border.

(Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

The Middle East Crisis

The Middle East Crisis
Israeli tanks poised on the border with Lebanon on August 2 (epa)

CLASH OF ARMS: Since mid-July, Israel has been battling Hizballah guerrillas in southern Lebanon and carrying out punishing air strikes throughout the country. International efforts to broker a cease-fire have met with one obstacle after another, as civilian casualties mount and a humanitarian crisis unfolds. Since Hizballah is closely supported by Syria and Iran, the conflict threatens constantly to develop into a regional conflagration.... (more)


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