Published March 23, 2004
BEIRUT, Lebanon – Israeli helicopter gunships fired on gunmen in southern Lebanon late Tuesday, killing two and wounding one, a Lebanese security official said.
The official said the helicopters opened fire on Palestinian guerrillas who had fired rockets toward Israel from Wadi Sluqi, about five miles north of the Israeli border.
In Israel, a statement from the Israeli Defense Force (search) said the air force hit a "terror cell" that had set up rocket launchers aimed at Israel.
"The IDF will act insistently against any force that uses terror and supports the use of terror against the residents of the state of Israel."
The attack came a day after a short flare-up in south Lebanon between Hezbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops following the assassination of Sheik Ahmed Yassin (search), founder and spiritual leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas.
In addition to Hezbollah (search), the main militant force in south Lebanon, Palestinian groups are also known operate in the area.
The Lebanese security official said the wounded Palestinian guerrilla was taken into custody.
While Lebanon's government strongly supports the Lebanese Hezbollah, it has opposed Palestinian guerrillas using southern Lebanon to attack Israel. Palestinian attacks in the 1970s and early 1980s brought harsh Israeli retaliations, including two full-scale invasions.
It was not immediately known which faction the guerrillas belonged to.