Putin calls on all sides to end bloodshed

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called on all sides in Middle East fighting to end bloodshed immediately. "No hostage-takings are acceptable ... but neither is the use of full-scale force in response to these, even if unlawful, actions," Putin said. "We will demand that all sides involved in the conflict immediately stop the bloodshed." Putin made the comment at a meeting with young people from the Group of Eight countries, a "junior summit" timed to coincide with this weekend's meeting of G-8 leaders from the world's leading industrialized nations. One of the participants asked for Putin's reaction to Israel's military offensive in Lebanon, which began after Hizbullah guerillas captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid Wednesday.