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Israeli Troops, Hezbollah Clash in Lebanon, Air Strikes Kill More Than 50 Lebanese


Heavy clashes erupted Wednesday between Israeli troops and Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon on the eighth day of Israel's offensive.

Israeli airstrikes continued to take a heavy toll in Lebanon, with more than 55 reported dead.

The Israeli Defense Forces confirmed two soldiers died in the clashes with Hezbollah. The guerrilla group said one of its fighters died. An Israeli general says ground troops are conducting incursions to attack Hezbollah outposts in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah guerrillas bombarded northern Israel with more rockets Wednesday, killing three Israelis in the city of Nazareth.

Meanwhile, Israel continued pounding southern and eastern Lebanon. At least 12 people were killed in a village near the southern port city of Tyre, where Israeli attacks flattened houses. Israeli warplanes also blew up a truck in a Christian neighborhood of Beirut Wednesday.

Israeli military officials say it could take two more weeks for its bombing campaign to destroy Hezbollah's rocket arsenal.

More than 250 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 30 Israelis have died in fighting since Hezbollah guerrillas abducted two Israeli soldiers during a cross-border raid on July 12.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.