Mon, Jul 31, 2006
51 Civilians Reported Dead In Latest Bombing
There are renewed calls for an immediate halt to fighting
between Israeli forces and Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon... after
an Israeli air strike Sunday hit a building sheltering refugees in
the Northern town of Qana.
The DPA news service reports 51 Lebanese civilians were killed
in the bombing, including 27 children. Another 17 persons were
reportedly wounded in the raid, which came on the 19th day of
fighting between Hezbollah forces camped out near Beirut and
Israeli military units.
"I can say this is a massacre. Most of the people here have fled
other areas to hide from the Israeli bombardment from other areas
in southern Lebanon," a Red cross volunteer at the scene said.
The latest bombing ignited tensions even more in the area, with
many Lebanese -- most Hezbollah followers -- took to the streets
shouting "Death to Israel, death to America," during a
demonstration in front the government palace.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was on an emergency
trip to the region in an attempt to broker a deal between the two
sides, was forced to cancel a scheduled visit to Beirut in the wake
of the attack.
Despite the reports of civilian casualties, Israel declined to
comment on the strike, stating only that several Hezbollah rocket
attacks had been launched from the area.
Sunday's bombing was not the first time Israeli forces have
struck Qana. During the 1996 "Grapes of Wrath" operation against
Hezbollah forces, Israeli artillery hit the same village, killing
That bombing, 10 years ago, eventually forced Israel
to halt its operation.
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