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BEIRUT: The Middle East was at a flashpoint today [Dec 29] after a daring lightning raid on Beirut Airport by Israeli commandos which left at least 13 Arab airliners charred wrecks.

According to a Beirut report, an armed party landed at Beirut International Airport by an Israeli Air Force squadron last night and blew up at least 13 civil Lebanese aircraft, Lebanon’s official news agency said today. The agency said Security Forces at the airport exchanged fire with the raiding party but it did not say whether there were any casualties. Thirteen aircraft of a total value of about 64 million dollars were destroyed by the Israeli commandos, who swooped down on the airport in four helicopters. The raid followed the recent Palestine Commando raid on an Israeli El-Al Airliner in Athens Airport.

The Lebanese Government today named former Foreign Minister Fuad Boutros as head of a special mission to present Lebanon’s complaint about last night’s attack on Beirut Airport to the UN Security Council. He will be assisted by Lebanon’s permanent delegation at the UN. Mr Boutros will leave here tomorrow for New York. ... Earlier today the Lebanese Government instructed its Permanent Representative in the UN to call for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2018