At least one Lebanese civilian was killed and two Israeli soldiers were wounded today when a suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle in the narrow "security zone" Israel maintains in southern Lebanon, the Israeli Army command said.
An Army spokesman in Tel Aviv said that an armored patrol was in the security zone which is controlled by the Israeli-supported South Lebanon Army, "to prevent terrorist activity" when the car explosion occurred in the village of Arnoun, located between the ruins of the Crusader-era Beaufort Castle and Nabatiyeh.
Witnesses told The Associated Press that at least three Israelis and five Lebanese civilians died.
Reuter reported from Tel Aviv that while Israeli state radio said the Mercedes-Benz apparently was driven by a 13-year-old boy, Lebanon's Syrian Nationalist Social Party claimed responsibility for the bombing in a statement that said 22-year-old party member Ali Ghazi Taleb drove the car rigged with explosives.
Last night, six mortar shells were reported to have been fired at South Lebanon Army positions in the security zone near the town of Roummane, presumably from Shiite Moslem militia positions north of the zone. No casualties were reported, and the SLA units returned the fire, officials said.
[In Afula, Israel, about 3,000 mourners, some carrying signs that read "Death to the terrorists," attended funeral services today under tight security for cafeteria owner Albert Buchris, a Jewish man killed by a suspected Arab extremist. In Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers sealed off the center of the city and searched house-to-house for the assailant.]