Israeli troops fought fierce battles with Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon early Tuesday, as Israel's Prime Minister approved an expansion of the ground offensive.

News reports say the two sides clashed in the Lebanese village of Taibe.

Lebanese police say Israeli warplanes also bombed a road connecting northeastern Lebanon to Syria. The jets struck Hermel, a village near the Syrian border that is considered a Hezbollah stronghold.

The bombings came after Israel announced a 48-hour partial suspension of air raids in Lebanon.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said his country will continue its fight against Hezbollah and warned there will be no ceasefire in the coming days.

He said Israel's offensive in Lebanon will end when the threat of Hezbollah rockets is removed and when the two Israeli soldiers captured by the guerrilla group are returned.

Also Monday, Syrian President Bashar Assad called on his army to raise its readiness to cope with what he called "regional challenges." Mr. Assad also pledged not to abandon support for Lebanon.

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