IAF resumes raids on Beirut, Bekaa

Lebanese prime minister says his country's death toll tops 900.

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August 3, 2006 08:36
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IAF warplanes renewed strikes against Hizbullah strongholds in the battered outskirts of the Lebanese capital as well as on Lebanon's northern border with Syria and in the eastern Bekaa Valley on Thursday. In Beirut, witnesses said at least four missiles hit the southern suburb of Dahieh. On the border, an Israeli missile slammed into a Lebanese house, killing a family of three, Lebanese security officials said. The three victims were still buried under the rubble of their house, which was flattened, witnesses said. The attack occurred in the village of Taibeh, less than five kilometers from the Israeli border. The village has been the scene of fierce fighting between Hezbollah guerrillas and Israeli ground troops for several days. Lebanese television said the Beirut attacks targeted several buildings in a Hizbullah compound of Dahieh's al-Ruweis neighborhood. The compound, which includes a center for religious teaching, has been attacked in earlier raids and sustained seizable damage. It was the first air raid against the Lebanese capital's southern suburb in almost a week. Warplanes also fired more than 16 missiles targeting main roads and suspected guerrilla hideouts in the southeastern town of Rashaya early Thursday, Lebanese security officials said. Other raids targeted infrastructure near Lebanon's northern border with Syria overnight, Lebanese radio said. This was the second attack in the area in 24 hours, and a bridge linking the zone to the northern port of Tripoli was destroyed there Wednesday. In the Bekaa Valley, some 75 kilometers to the south east of Beirut, witnesses said jets fired two missiles that hit a road overnight. There were no immediate reports of Lebanese casualties Thursday. Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said Thursday in a video statement to an Islamic conference in Malaysia Lebanon's death toll in more than three weeks of fighting has reached more than 900. "Over 900 (have been) killed and 3,000 injured so far, one third of the casualties are children under 12," Saniora told participants at a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Muslim world's largest political group. He said Israel's offensive on Lebanon "is taking an enormous toll on human life and infrastructure, and has totally ravaged our country and shattered our economy."


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