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
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)