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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Israeli Warplanes Raid Southern Lebanon

Aired April 5, 2002 - 11:15   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We have some breaking news out of Southern Lebanon. We are getting word that Israeli aircraft firing on the southern part of that country. Let's go to our Brent Sadler, who is standing by in Beirut.

Brent, this could be in reaction to some firepower that was heading the other direction, from Lebanon into Israel yesterday.

Hello.

BRENT SADLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Daryn, yes we have breaking news here. Continuation of cross-boarder clashes between Hezbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops in the an area at the foot of the Golan Heights, and then there's the (UNINTELLIGIBLE). We're getting word here, official confirmation of sources, of heavy artillery bombardments in areas that are suspected of being hideouts for Hezbollah guerrillas. This on the day that the Lebanese army had captured six Palestinians from a hard-line group called the PFLPGC, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command, run by Afed Gabril (ph) from his Damascus-based office, although denied by his people in Beirut.

There are six people and a rocket launcher taken by the Lebanese army after a brief firefight. The Lebanese government interested, it says, in trying to calm down a very volatile situation. But now we have confirmation that Hezbollah is again locked in hostilities with the Israelis and the Israelis we have known for the past few days, saying repeatedly that Lebanon and Syria would face harsh reprisals if that boarder area explodes in violence once again, that's going on right now.

So a very dangerous situation is moving into the region, again, in advance of the visit to the region next week by Secretary of State Colin Powell -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Absolutely.

And, Brent, describe that border area for us, how populated it is on either side. Israel to the south and Lebanon to the north.

SADLER: Well, as far as Israel is concerned, the Shebaa, which we hear a lot of these days, that's very much an uninhabited area. It's under military occupation by the Israelis, who are bunkered down in there. And Hezbollah rockets -- uses mortars to try to inflict casualties.

There were reports that they were trying to target an Israeli listening post, a radar station, which is visible from the Lebanese side of the border. And from Lebanon, you have villages dotted along the boarder there, which Israel says has been used by the Hezbollah guerrillas as hideouts, but the retaliation from the Israeli comes on the edge of those villages, not on those villages thus far, but there is a real danger that if civilians get involved, in terms of Israeli retaliation, Hezbollah would then retaliate in kind, which we have seen happen there before, and they really would try and hit Israeli civilians. It really is a very volatile and potentially explosive situation along the border now on a day-by-day basis. This is the fourth day of cross-border hostilities -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Brent Sadler in Beirut, we will leave you to monitor that situation between Lebanon and Israel.

Thank you very much.

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