An Israeli military source has ruled out a mass invasion of southern Lebanon, saying the army would step up pinpoint cross-border attacks against Hizbollah guerrillas. Yesterday, 3,000 reservists were told to report for duty and some reports said there could be three to four divisions on the border by the end of the weekend.
An official from the UN monitoring force in south Lebanon said last night that hundreds of troops were believed to be in the western border sector, backed by up to 30 tanks. Thousands of Lebanese civilians have now fled the area after Israeli airplanes dropped leaflets warning them to evacuate immediately.
Lebanon says its 60,000 strong army is ready to counter any ground incursion. Israel has massed troops on its northern border since Hizbollah abducted two soldiers and killed eight others in a cross-border raid a week and a half ago.