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8/07/2006 Wolrd News: Lebanon Says Israeli Warplanes Kill 15 Civilians, Hezbollah Rockets Strike Israel


Israel – Lebanon: Lebanese officials say Israeli warplanes carried out more raids across Lebanon today (Monday), killing at least 15 civilians. Hezbollah militants also fired another barrage of rockets into northern Israel, wounding at least one civilian.
Lebanese police say the civilians were killed when Israeli aircraft struck several villages in southern Lebanon and other locations in the east. In one air strike, local officials say seven people were killed in a house in Ghassaniyeh.
Elsewhere, Israeli fighter jets destroyed a makeshift bridge over the Litani river in Qasimiya, north of the port city of Tyre.
The makeshift crossing had connected Tyre to the city of Sidon farther north. It was erected after Israeli air strikes destroyed the main bridges two weeks ago.
Israeli aircraft also pounded Hezbollah strongholds in southern Beirut and near the town of Baalbek in the Bekaa Valley.

Israel – Lebanon Diplomacy: Arab foreign ministers are holding an emergency meeting in Beirut today (Monday) to support Lebanon's proposals for ending the Israel-Hezbollah conflict.
The ministers were expected to discuss proposals to hold a summit of Arab leaders in the coming days, possibly in Islam's holy city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.
The Lebanese government is seeking changes to a U.N. draft resolution calling for a ceasefire. Beirut wants the resolution to require Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon.
The U.N. Security Council's five permanent members (the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China) are to meet again today in New York to consider Lebanon's demands.

Iraq: Iraqi police say insurgents have attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint northeast of Baghdad, killing six Iraqi soldiers and wounding 15 others.
Police say Iraqi troops returned fire at the insurgents, killing one of them. The attack took place early today (Monday) near Baquba.
In another incident, Iraqi and U.S. troops raided a Shi'ite militia stronghold in Baghdad before dawn, sparking a gun battle with militants that killed at least three civilians.
The U.S. military says the joint raid took place in the Sadr City district of eastern Baghdad. Officials say the aim of the operation was to catch extremists involved in torture cells and revenge attacks.

Sri Lanka: Aid officials in Sri Lanka say concerns are mounting for the welfare of aid workers trapped in the eastern town of Muttur after the massacre of 15 members of a French agency.
The 15 members of the French organization Action Against Hunger were found shot execution-style in their offices Sunday. All were ethnic Tamils who had been providing assistance to victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
Other humanitarian groups have been prevented from reaching the area by ongoing fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels who control the water flow to an irrigation system to government-held land.

Philippines – Burma: The Philippines' foreign secretary says he will push Burma to make rapid democratic reforms, during a visit to the military-ruled country this week.
Alberto Romulo said today (Monday) he will meet Burma's military junta during a three-day visit starting Thursday.
Romulo said he will reiterate the concerns of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations about Burma's reluctance to enact political reforms. It is unclear whether he will be able to meet opposition leader Ang San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest. Romulo says he did not make a meeting with the activist a condition of his visit.
The Philippines took over the ASEAN chair last month from Malaysia, which criticized Burma's human rights record.

Listen to our World News for details.

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