Annan urges Israel to lift air and sea blockade

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Israel to immediately lift the air and sea blockade on Lebanon so hundreds of thousands of Lebanese caught up in the 34-day Israeli-Hizbullah conflict can quickly receive aid. Annan echoed the appeal earlier Friday by UN deputy humanitarian chief Margareta Wahlstrom who told the UN Security Council that the enormous damage to roads and bridges leading to southern Lebanon required the immediate lifting of the blockades. In a report to the council late Friday on implementation of the UN resolution adopted a week ago to stop the fighting, Annan said the extensive damage "merits lifting the continuing sea and air blockade on Lebanon as soon as possible."