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BEIRUT, Lebanon - Hezbollah dealt Israel its heaviest losses in the Lebanon campaign Wednesday, killing nine soldiers in fierce firefights. With key Mideast players failing to agree on a formula for a cease-fire, an Israeli general said the operation could last weeks.
Israel said it intends to damage Hezbollah and establish a "security zone" that would be free of the guerrillas and extend 1.2 miles into Lebanon from the Israeli border. Such a zone would prevent Hezbollah from carrying out cross-border raids such as the one two weeks ago which triggered the Israeli military response.