33 civilians die in Lebanon air strike

Tuesday 08 August 2006 10.09
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Beirut - Israel renews air strikes
Beirut - Israel renews air strikes
Israeli army - Increasing pressure on Hezbollah - Regev
Israeli army - Increasing pressure on Hezbollah - Regev

An Israeli air strike in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley has killed 33 farm workers and wounded at least 30.

The workers, mostly Kurds and Syrians, were killed when Israeli aircraft bombarded trucks being loaded with fruits at a farm in the village of Qaa, some 50km northeast of the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek

The raid was the first time Syrian nationals had been killed by Israeli bombardments although the main border crossing to Syria at Masnaa has been the target of several Israeli air strikes.

Meanwhile, the Israeli emergency services have said three people have been killed in a hail of rockets fired by Hezbollah into northern Israel.

Doctors said one rocket hit a car in Israel's northern most town of Kiryat Shmona injuring several people. There were also fatalities in the towns of Safed and Carmiel.

Earlier reports said five Israeli soldiers were killed by Hezbollah militants in south Lebanon who detonated roadside bombs and fired anti-tank rockets at Israeli forces occupying seven small enclaves.

The Israeli army said it had killed ten Hezbollah gunmen as it continued to expand its area of control despite heavy bombardment.

In another development, Israel has said it is taking seriously a threat from Hezbollah that it would attack Tel Aviv if the centre of Beirut is bombed.

Damage assessment after Beirut barrage

The Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Nasrallah also said his organisation would end its rocket attacks if Israel halted its targeting of civilian areas in Lebanon.

Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev said Sheikh Nasrallah is under increasing pressure from the offensive.

The Israeli Defence Minister, Amir Peretz, has told the army to prepare for a push to the Litani river, up to 30km north of the border.

Meanwhile, Lebanese officials are assessing damage caused by the Israeli air attacks on southern Beirut during the night.

Israel renewed air strikes on the Lebanese capital today after last night's attacks, which are said to have been the worst barrage since the latest offensive began.

A number of suburbs in a suspected Hezbollah stronghold were struck, with local television showing fires in the night sky.