Monday, July 17, 2006
Israeli raids reach north Lebanon
Lebanese people salvage belongings from bomb crater
Lebanese people say they are being punished collectively
Israel has extended its air campaign to northernmost Lebanon, killing at least 14 people, including nine soldiers, in the port of Abdeh near Tripoli.
The raids come after a Hezbollah rocket attack killed eight Israelis in Haifa.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned that the Haifa attack would have "far-reaching consequences".
Beirut's port and northern suburbs were also hit overnight. About 130 Lebanese have been killed since Israeli operations began on Wednesday.
Early on Monday, Israeli air strikes targeted Tripoli, Lebanon's second-largest city located in the north, and Baalbek in the east.
The target in Abdeh was about 6km (four miles) south of the border with Syria.
The Israeli military said it had been targeting radar stations in Abdeh because they were used by Hezbollah to hit an Israeli ship on Friday, the Associated Press news agency reported.
The port of Beirut also came under attack, as well as fuel tanks in Dawra in the northern suburbs. At least two people are believed to have died in the raids on the capital.
The Israeli air strikes began after Hezbollah seized two Israeli soldiers during a raid into Israel on Wednesday.
Twelve Israeli civilians have been killed by Hezbollah rockets since fighting began - including the eight killed in Haifa.
In other developments:
* The Israeli army said Hezbollah rockets fired from Lebanon have struck deeper into Israel than ever before, hitting the town of Afula, 50km (33 miles) south of the border, and the outskirts of Nazareth
* Israeli air strikes late on Sunday set fuel tanks ablaze at Beirut's international airport
* Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the battle against Israel was "just at the beginning", in his first televised appearance since the offensive began
* Iran's foreign ministry denied Israeli allegations that it supplied missiles to Hezbollah
Top European Union and United Nations officials have arrived in Beirut for talks on the crisis.
These extremist elements... cannot be allowed to plunge the Middle East into chaos
G8 nations statement
G8 blames 'extremists'
After meeting Lebanon's Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, the European Union Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana appealed for an end to the violence and the release of two Israeli soldiers being held captive by Hezbollah.
EU foreign ministers will discuss the crisis at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.
Meanwhile, leaders of the G8 nations have blamed extremist forces for the crisis, while calling on Israel to end military operations.
At least 16 died in Israeli air strikes on Sunday the city of Tyre, while attacks on a border village killed seven Canadians of Lebanese origin who were on a family holiday.
The strikes came hours after the Haifa rocket attack, which killed eight members of a train repair crew.
Correspondents say the large death-count in a strike on Israel's third-largest city has rattled the whole country.
Israel's death toll from the fighting stands at 24 overall.
Israel has carried out a heavy bombing campaign across Lebanon, hitting Hezbollah sites, but also a wide range of civilian targets.
US security teams have landed at the US Embassy in Beirut to start planning the evacuation of Americans.
Foreign nationals have been leaving Lebanon to escape the violence.
As the violence has escalated the number of locals attempting to flee has grown, but with the Israelis targeting the border areas and nearby roads, this has become increasingly difficult.