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7/13/06 World News in Lao: Israel Blockades Lebanon by Sea and Air, Bombs Beirut


Israel-Lebanon: Israel bombed Beirut airport and began a sea and air blockade of Lebanon today (Thursday) in its intense military campaign to free two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah guerrillas. Lebanon's only international airport closed after bombs shattered its runways. Another Israeli air strike hit a television station on the outskirts of Beirut operated by Hezbollah. Hezbollah guerrillas kidnapped the two Israelis during a cross-border raid Wednesday, then returned to Lebanon. Israel has bombed bridges and roads across southern Lebanon in an attempt to stop the militants from moving far with their captives.

US-Mideast React: President Bush has criticized Hezbollah for sparking the latest outburst of violence in the Middle East, and he says Israel has the right to defend itself. Mr. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, appearing together at a news conference in Germany today (Thursday), called for a "de-escalation" of the current round of violence.

Bush-Germany: President Bush says there is "no question" the Iranian nuclear standoff can be resolved diplomatically. Speaking in Germany after talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr. Bush emphasized the importance of "speaking with one voice" on Iran, which has yet to formally respond to an international incentives offer aimed at ending the standoff.

India Blasts: Authorities in Bombay (India) are rounding up potential suspects and searching for evidence that could point to who carried out this week's devastating train bombings. The death toll from Tuesday's explosions is now at least 200, with 700 people injured.

Thailand-Thaksin: Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says his country's intelligence agency has uncovered a plot to assassinate him. Mr. Thaksin downplayed the report today (Thursday) from the National Intelligence Agency, saying it is nothing to worry about. He said security has been increased.

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