In the South Lebanese town of Dahr Al-Borj, Israeli commandos raided a Palestinian base on Friday (9 June) and a local guerrilla chief claims 22 people died in the ensuing battle.
LV: Wrecked buildings with smiling ruins. (3 SHOTS)
GV & SV: Palestinians looking at wreckage. (4 SHOTS)
SV PAN: Palestinians walking through narrow street.
SV: Lebanese soldiers at post, checking vehicles. (4 SHOTS)
GV: U.N. vehicles past.
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Background: In the South Lebanese town of Dahr Al-Borj, Israeli commandos raided a Palestinian base on Friday (9 June) and a local guerrilla chief claims 22 people died in the ensuing battle. The Palestinian officer said about 150 Israelis stormed the coastal village from rubber boats and sprinted from helicopters with their guns blazing.
SYNOPSIS: On Friday (9 June) morning, just hours after the attack, buildings and houses in Dahr Al-Borj lay in ruins. Boats and rocket launchers belonging to Fatah, the largest Palestinian group, were also destroyed.
A senior commander of Fatah, Khalil Al-Wazir, told reporters after the battle that nine Lebanese civilians had been killed and eight Israelis. Several of the raiders had been wounded. However Israel claims just two of their own number were killed while seven guerrillas were shot dead and no civilians killed.
Reporters said the attack was early in the morning when there were only 19 guerrillas at the base. Eyewitnesses claimed the attack lasted from between 15 to 75 minutes and that the Palestinians were caught completely by surprise.
On Friday (9 June) security round the town and outlying districts was tight. The attack had come just days before the Israelis are due to pull their remaining troops out of Southern Lebanon on June 13. The scene of the attack was 55 kilometres (35 miles) north of the strip Israeli forces still occupy in Southern Lebanon. As Lebanese troops went about checking vehicles following the attack survivors in the Palestinian camp had a grim story to tell. One guerrilla said they had been sleeping below orange groves and had been woken by the sound of automatic weapon fire. He said the Israelis surrounded the base preventing guerrilla reinforcements from reaching it. And while local people set about restoring their homes United Nations patrols moved into the area.