Israeli military helicopter goes down

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Shahrukh Khan

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BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- The Israeli military said one of its helicopters crashed on the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon, as fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon entered a 13th day Monday.

The crash was an accident not a shootdown, according to an Israel Defense Forces spokesman.

An ambulance was almost immediately on the scene, CNN correspondent Paula Newton reported from the scene.

Israeli military sources said there was "very fierce fighting" in the area.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in the region for talks on the crisis. (Full story)

Lebanese Internal Security Forces and the IDF on Monday reported fighting between Hezbollah and Israeli forces in Maroun al-Ras and Bint Jubail, in southern Lebanon.

The Israel Defense Forces on Monday said its troops had seized two Hezbollah guerrillas in Maroun al-Ras.

The guerrillas were taken into custody on Sunday and are "suspected in involvement in terror activities," the IDF said. The two are being held in Israel.

The IDF has called Maroun al-Ras its "first foothold" in southern Lebanon in an effort to create a security buffer.

Also Monday, Israeli bombs hit homes and cars in Maaliye, south of Tyre, and Israeli forces hit a truck in Kfarshima, southeast of Beirut, near the airport, Lebanese Internal Security Forces said.

The IDF said one Katyusha rocket was fired into eastern Galilee on Monday.

Israeli artillery and warplanes have been pounding Lebanon since July 12, when Hezbollah killed three Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two others in a cross-border raid. Hezbollah has responded to the bombardment by firing hundreds of rockets into northern Israel.

More than 60 Hezbollah rockets hit northern Israel on Sunday, killing two civilians and wounding more than 20 others, military officials and police said. (Watch the aftermath of a rocket attack -- 2:59)

At least six Israeli bombs fell on the Lebanese coastal city of Tyre in a 20-minute span Sunday morning, killing one civilian and wounding at least 20 others, officials said.

Israeli airstrikes also hit southern Beirut, and the IDF said it struck a building that "serves Hezbollah" in the town of Sidon.

At least 275 Lebanese people have been killed in the fighting, and 727 wounded, according to Lebanese security officials.

Hezbollah attacks have killed 17 Israeli civilians and 20 soldiers and wounded more than 300 civilians and more than 60 soldiers, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Israeli officials say Israel does not intend to carry out a full-scale ground invasion in Lebanon, but instead will continue pinpoint attacks on specific targets
Posted 24 Jul 2006

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