Lebanon’s government rejected a U.N. cease-fire plan backed by President Bush on Monday, demanding Israel immediately withdraw even before a peacekeeping force arrives and promising to send 15,000 troops to take control of the Hezbollah stronghold along the border.

Meanwhile, renewed clashes broke out early Tuesday between Hezbollah guerrillas and Israeli forces near the Lebanon-Israel border. Fifteen guerrillas were killed, along with one Israeli soldier, in fighting in the town of Bint Jbail, the army said.

Hezbollah’s television station, Al-Manar, claimed the guerillas had inflicted casualties on Israeli forces near the city of Naqoura. It did not mention the fighting at Bint Jbail.


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