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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Gunmen fire on Israel from Lebanon
Map of Lebanon, Israel and Syria
Israel has warned of possible retaliation after one of its military posts came under fire from the Lebanese border on Sunday.

The Israeli army said that troops stationed in the western section of the border returned fire after four men armed with automatic rifles shot at them.

Local medics said two men believed to be Palestinian refugees were injured in the attack.

It was the second attack on Israeli posts in two days, and Israeli Defence Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer warned that such actions raised the possibility of a second front in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Mortar fire

Unconfirmed reports said that the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group carried out the attack, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Israeli soldiers return fire at the gunmen
Six Israelis were killed in an attack three weeks ago near the Lebanese border

"It appears the terrorists were hit," the Israeli army said in a statement, adding there were no Israeli casualties.

Mr Ben Eliezer said he had a "great interest in a quiet border" between Israel and the Lebanese.

But, he warned on Israeli radio: "Let there be no misunderstanding. I hope that we will not need to prove to Hezbollah the strength of the Israeli Defence Forces."

On Saturday, Israel responded to Hezbollah mortar fire against Israeli outposts with attacks on suspected bases in southern Lebanon.

Sunday's attack took place only a short distance away from where two gunmen shot and killed six Israelis three weeks ago.

The Israel army at the time initially suspected that the gunmen had climbed over the border from Lebanon, and some suspected the involvement of Hezbollah, however this was denied by the Lebanese Government.

See also:

01 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israel extends West Bank grip
31 Mar 02 | Middle East
Israel warns Syria over Lebanon
12 Mar 02 | Middle East
Six Israelis die in ambush
13 Feb 02 | Middle East
Lebanon hears case against Sharon
24 Jan 02 | Middle East
Lebanon's cocktail of hatreds
18 Mar 02 | Middle East
Timeline: Lebanon
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