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(photo credit: IDF)
Wednesday's bitter fighting in Bint Jbail ended with one of the worst casualty figures suffered by the IDF in more than 20 years. Other recent, painful dates for "our boys" include:
July 12, 2006 - Three soldiers were killed and two others abducted when Hizbullah gunmen infiltrated into Israel early and fired anti-tank rockets at an IDF patrol, the first shots in the present crisis. Later, four soldiers were killed when their tank entered Lebanon in pursuit of the captors and triggered a large explosive device. An eighth soldier was shot dead in the ensuing clashes as troops tried to retrieve the bodies from the demolished tank.
May 11, 2004 - Six soldiers of the Givati Brigade's engineering unit were killed when Gaza gunmen detonated a large mine underneath their armored personnel carrier, setting off explosives being carried inside to blow-up Kassam factories. A day later, an IDF officer and four soldiers were killed while preparing to detonate a weapon-smuggling tunnel on the Philadelphi Route near Rafah.
November 15, 2002 - Nine soldiers and border policemen, including Hebron Brigade commander Col. Dror Weiberg were killed when three Islamic Jihad gunmen ambushed an IDF convoy escorting worshipers in Hebron. Three civilian members of the Kiryat Arba emergency response team were also killed in the attack, and eleven other soldiers were wounded.
April 9, 2002 - Thirteen soldiers, primarily reservists, were slain in an ambush in Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield. The soldiers were on patrol when they tripped a number of bombs in a narrow alley and were buried under the rubble of collapsing buildings. Palestinian gunmen opened fire on them and also on a rescue squad which came to evacuate the dead and wounded. In all, 22 soldiers died in two weeks of fierce fighting in the West Bank city.
March 3, 2002 - Seven IDF soldiers and three civilians were shot dead as a Palestinian sniper fired on a roadblock in the Halamiya Valley, north of Ofra.
February 4, 1997 - A total of 65 soldiers, including 13 officers, and eight airmen were killed when two helicopters collided in foggy conditions while shuttling troops to Lebanon. It was the highest number of IDF casualties in one day since the Yom Kippur War.
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