Israel staged wide-ranging airstrikes and sent commandos into the Hezbollah heartland Saturday as the United Nations raced to begin enforcing its new cease-fire blueprint and stop the heavy fighting still raging in southern Lebanon.
Airstrikes killed at least 19 people in Lebanon, including 15 in one village, while Hezbollah rockets wounded at least five people in Israel.
The Islamic militant group said its fighters killed seven Israeli soldiers and destroyed 21 tanks in combat Saturday. Israel said its troops had killed 40 Hezbollah guerrillas over the previous 24 hours. Neither side commented on the other’s claims.
Israel blasted a highway near Lebanon’s last open border crossing to Syria as it kept up its full-scale campaign against Hezbollah. Long columns of Israeli tanks, soldiers and armored personnel carriers streamed over the border.