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7/30/2006 World News: 50 Civilian Casualties in New Israeli Airstrikes in Lebanon


Israel – Lebanon: Lebanese officials say Israeli warplanes have bombed a building in southern Lebanon, killing at least 50 civilians in the bloodiest strike in Israel's 19-day offensive against Hezbollah guerillas.
Officials say at least 23 of those killed in the town of Qana were children. Rescuers are still searching through the rubble of the three-story building in the hopes of finding survivors. As many as 100 civilians had been seeking refuge in the building at the time of the attack.
The Israeli army says it targeted Qana because missiles have been repeatedly launched from the area. The army says residents had been warned to leave prior to the attack.
Airstrikes have been reported in other parts of the area. Details on those attacks are not immediately available.

Lebanon Protest: Thousands of Lebanese are rallying in Beirut to express their rage following a deadly Israeli attack in the town of Qana.
The number of demonstrators swelled today (Sunday) after a group of protesters broke into a U.N. compound in the capital, smashing objects in the building.
Lebanese security forces were deployed to restore order at the diplomatic building, ushering hundreds of stone-throwing protesters from the compound.
As the crowds dispersed from the U.N. building, protesters in central Beirut chanted anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans while waving Hezbollah flags in a show of defiance.

Israel – Lebanon – Diplomacy: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called for an Israeli-Hezbollah ceasefire "as soon as possible," but stopped short of urging an immediate halt to the conflict.
Speaking today (Sunday) in Israel, Rice said she was deeply saddened by the civilian deaths from Israel's airstrike in the Lebanese town of Qada. She said she spoke with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to confirm she would postpone an expected visit to Beirut.
Earlier, Mr. Saniora demanded an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and an international investigation into what he called "Israeli massacres." He said Lebanon will not consider any negotiations until a ceasefire is in place.
Secretary Rice met with top Israeli officials today after holding talks with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert late Saturday.

Iran Nuclear: Iran warns it will stop considering an international nuclear incentives package if the U.N. Security Council passes a resolution against Tehran's nuclear program.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman (Hamid Reza Asefi) told reporters in Tehran today (Sunday) the package will no longer be on Iran's agenda if the resolution is approved.
The proposed U.N. resolution demands that Iran cease uranium enrichment by August 31st or face the possibility of sanctions. A vote is expected this week.
The Security Council proposal was negotiated after Tehran failed to respond to Western incentives in exchange for suspension of its uranium-enrichment activities. Tehran has said it will not respond to the incentive package until August 22nd, nine days before the U.N. deadline.

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