The Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Zvi Gabay, has expressed his sorrow at the death of an Irish solider working with UNIFIL in Southern Lebanon. Twenty-two-year-old Private Billy Kedian died and twenty-three year old Private Ronald Rushe was injured in an exchange of fire between the SLA and Hezbollah guerrillas yesterday. The Government is to protest to the United Nations over the incident.

Private Ronnie Rushe is stable in hospital in Ramban, an Army spokesman said this morning. He said that arrangements are being made to fly members of Private Rushe's family to Lebanon to visit him in the next day or so.

Meanwhile, troops from the Israeli backed South Lebanon Army have begun withdrawing from the southern Lebanese town of Jezzine. Israel said the SLA was pulling out of the isolated mountain town because it could no longer be defended from attacks by Hizbollah guerillas. The move has increased speculation that Israel will itself leave the zone it occupies further south.