Israeli forces blasted a Palestinian refugee camp and Lebanese Muslim guerrilla bases Thursday for the third day in mounting violence in southern Lebanon during which five people have been killed, military sources said.
The Rashidiyeh refugee camp, on the outskirts of the port city of Tyre, 46 miles south of Beirut, came under heavy bombardment by Israeli artillery from inside Israel's self-declared "security zone" and from gunboats off the Lebanese shore, the sources said.At the same time, dozens of shells fired from batteries in the border enclave crashed into the Tuffah region east of the port city of Sidon, 24 miles south of Beirut, and the Syrian-policed west Bekaa area.
Followers of Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat maintain bases in the Tuffah region, while the western Bekaa is controlled by the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, or Party of God.
Israel Radio confirmed the attacks and said they were in retaliation for the firing of short-range rockets against northern Israel earlier in the day. Israeli military sources said dozens of Soviet-made Katyusha rockets believed fired by Palestinian gunners during the night fell short of their targets and crashed into the security zone in southern Lebanon. No casualties were reported.
The Katyusha attack was the third targeting Israel in less than three days.
Late Wednesday, the Lebanese government denounced the recurring firing of rockets against Israel and said the attacks were intended to create turmoil in southern Lebanon to obstruct scheduled deployment of Lebanese army troops in the embattled area Feb. 1.