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CNN Today

Deteriorating Peace: Israel Mounts New Airstrikes Against Hezbollah Targets in Lebanon

Aired February 9, 2000 - 1:30 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The tit-for-tat, cross-border attacks continue between Israel and forces in southern Lebanon. It is another step backward in a region struggling to establish lasting peace. Israel says it attacked only military targets, today. A powerful attack Tuesday knocked out power to most of Beirut.

ITN's Kevin Dunne tells us how relations have been affected.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEVIN DUNNE, ITN REPORTER (voice-over): Chaos and carnage in the streets of the south Lebanese port of Tyre. At least three people were wounded in the second successive night of airstrikes by Israeli war planes. Israel said the target was the residence of a leader of Hezbollah guerrillas. The Lebanese said the victims were civilians.

The Israeli attacks were in direct response to the killing yesterday of a soldier by Hezbollah guerrillas. Hezbollah say these pictures show an Israeli border post being destroyed. Six Israel soldiers have been killed in the last two weeks, provoking Israel's retaliation and dealing a critical blow to the fragile peace process.

Thousands of Israelis have fled the northern border area or taken refuge in bomb shelters. Their fear is that the cycle of violence could be the prelude to a full-scale, cross-border war.

Talks between Israel and Syria broke down last month, and relations in the region are deteriorating by the day. Israel says Syria should use its power to rein back the Hezbollah, but they have vowed to intensify their efforts to force Israel to withdraw from the zone of southern Lebanon it has occupied for decades.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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