JERUSALEM (Reuters) NOV23 – Israeli troops exchanged fire with Hizbollah gunmen Wednesday to provide cover for an Israeli paraglider pilot who drifted into Lebanon by accident, military sources said.

They said the paraglider, which took off from the Israeli border town of Manara, went astray and landed just inside Lebanese territory."Soldiers who were near that spot saw him land. They basically opened a gate in the fence and told him to go through it," a source said. Military sources earlier said troops had entered Lebanon briefly to rescue the pilot.Hizbollah sources confirmed the brief gunfight with Israeli troops at Mais El-Jabal, a Lebanese village just across the border from Manara. There were no reports of casualties on either side.

The exchange of fire came two days after the worst clashes at the border in five years. Four guerrillas were killed and 11 Israeli troops wounded in what Lebanese security sources said was a botched Hizbollah attempt to kidnap soldiers.