WAR.WIRE
Israeli jets cause supersonic bangs over Lebanon
BEIRUT (AFP) Jan 19, 2004
Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace on Monday, causing supersonic bangs over southern and eastern cities, police and AFP correspondents said.

The fighter bombers broke the sound barrier at around 11:10 amover the southeastern Western Bekaa border region patrolled by the United Nations peacekeeping forces, they said.

The jets also caused bangs over Nabatiyeh, Zahrani and the port of Sidon, the main city of southern Lebanon, they said.

The Israeli warplanes then made more booms over the ancient city of Baalbek, a stronghold of the Shiite Muslim fundamentalist Hezbollah in Syrian-patrolled eastern Lebanon, they said.

Israeli aircraft violated Lebanese airspace several times over the New Year's holiday.

In early December, the United Nations had hailed a decline in Israeli violations.

The previous month it issued a strong condemnation of the Jewish state for its persistent intrusions into Lebanese airspace since its pullout from the south of the country in May 2000 after 22 years of occupation.

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