Hezbollah Attacks Israeli Troops

Hezbollah guerrillas fired mortars and rockets at Israeli troops Monday in a disputed border area, the first clash between the two sides in five months, the group said.

The Israeli army confirmed that several missiles or mortars were fired from Lebanon into the Chebaa Farms, an area where the borders of Lebanon, Syria and Israel meet.

Israeli troops responded with artillery shelling of suspected guerrilla hideouts in mountainous areas and valleys near the Chebaa Farms, security officials in south Lebanon said. The Israeli military did not confirm its forces returned fire.

There was no word on casualties or what triggered the fighting.

Chebaa Farms has become the focus of Hezbollah attacks on Israeli forces since the Jewish state withdrew its troops from southern Lebanon in 2000. Hezbollah attacks the enclave periodically, the last time was in June.

Lebanon and Syria say Chebaa Farms is Lebanese territory, but U.N. cartographers who surveyed the border after the Israeli withdrawal said it belongs to that part of Syria which Israel has occupied since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.