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Lebanon, Israel exchange fire

ADEISSEH, Lebanon — Lebanese and Israeli troops exchanged fire Tuesday in a fierce border battle that killed a senior Israeli officer, two Lebanese soldiers and a journalist — underlining how easily tensions can re-ignite along the frontier where Israel and Hezbollah fought a war four years ago.

It was the worst fighting since 2006 in the area, where Israeli and Lebanese soldiers patrol within shouting distance of each other, separated by the U.N.-drawn Blue Line boundary.

The fighting flared into Israeli tank, helicopter and artillery strikes near this Lebanese town, but ended after several hours. There was no sign that either side was preparing to escalate.

Saudi Arabia to halt BlackBerry service

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia says it is ordering its mobile operators to halt BlackBerry services throughout the kingdom, starting Friday.

The move heightens tensions between the device maker Research in Motion and governments demanding greater access to data sent on the phones.

The Saudi state news agency SPA says in a report late Tuesday that the country's telecom regulator has informed mobile service providers in the country that they must halt BlackBerry service starting Friday. It says the move applies to all individuals and businesses in the kingdom.

The regulator couldn't immediately be reached for details.

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