Israeli Jets Raid Suspected Hezbollah Positions in Lebanon

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Israeli warplanes attacked suspected Hezbollah (search) positions in southern Lebanon (search) on Wednesday, hours after Hezbollah-fired shells in response to Israeli overflights landed in northwestern Israel, Lebanese security officials said.

Israeli warplanes fired at least three air-to-surface missiles on the hills near the village of Bayada on the outskirts of the southern port city of Tyre, the officials, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said. There was no immediate word on casualties.

It was the first Israeli air raid since Aug. 10, when shells fired by Hezbollah killed a 16-year-old Israeli and wounded five people, including an infant. That shelling, part of volleys fired by the guerrillas to counter Israeli reconnaissance flights over Lebanon, led to an Israeli air attack against suspected Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon, shattering an eight-month lull on the border.

Earlier Wednesday, Israeli fighter jets flew over south Lebanon, drawing anti-aircraft fire from militant Hezbollah guerrillas, Lebanese security officials and Hezbollah said.

A statement issued by the group in Beirut said its air defense unit fired at "Israeli enemy planes which violated Lebanese sovereignty."

In Jerusalem, the Israeli military said Hezbollah fired shells that landed near the small border community of Zarit. No injuries were reported.

An Israeli military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said about five shells landed in open areas near Zarit on Wednesday. The Israeli military said this was the first shelling since Aug. 10.

Since Israel's withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000 , Israeli military aircraft have routinely flown over Lebanon on apparent reconnaissance missions, sometimes drawing fire from the Lebanese army and Hezbollah gunners.

Israel and Hezbollah, which the U.S. labels as a terrorist organization, remain locked in a territorial dispute over the Chebaa Farms (search), which is claimed by Lebanon. Israel captured the area from Syria during the 1967 Mideast war. The United Nations says the region belongs to Syria and that Syria and Israel should negotiate its fate.