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8/12/06 World News: Israel Pushes Deeper into Southern Lebanon


ISRAEL - LEBANON: Israeli officials say they will push on with the expanded ground offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon until a ceasefire is implemented. The Israeli army widened its operations in southern Lebanon hours after the U.N. Security Council approved a ceasefire resolution to end the fighting. Israeli tanks and armored columns pushed toward the Litani River, 30 kilometers inside Lebanon early today (Saturday). Lebanese officials say today's Israeli airstrikes across the country killed 19 people. On Friday, an Israeli drone fired several missiles at a convoy of civilians and Lebanese security forces fleeing violence from the town of Marjayoun in southern Lebanon, killing seven people.

ISRAEL - LEBANON DIPLOMACY: The Lebanese government is expected to accept today (Saturday) a U.N. ceasefire resolution aimed at ending fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. The Cabinet meets today in Beirut to consider the resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to urge his Cabinet to approve the measure when it meets Sunday. The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution Friday, calling the situation in Lebanon a threat to international peace and security. The resolution calls for a full cessation of hostilities before authorizing an increase in the current U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon to 15-thousand troops.

IS/LEB SDBR: UN RESOLUTION: The U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah calls for Israel to withdrawal from Lebanon after the end of the fighting. Resolution 1701, drawn up after weeks of negotiation by the United States and France, calls on Lebanon and the U.N. interim force in Lebanon known as UNIFIL to deploy their forces together to help the Lebanese government gain sovereignty throughout its territory. UNIFIL's primary mission will be to support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy across southern Lebanon, currently dominated by Hezbollah. The militant group has been firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities and towns since the fighting began July 12th.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka's military says intense fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels today (Saturday) left about 175 people dead. The military estimates it killed as many as 150 rebels as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam attacked the military front lines. Officials say 27 military personnel were killed and about 80 wounded. Officials say Tamil Tiger rebels attacked a key naval base in northeastern Sri Lanka early today (Saturday) in a fierce push to retake the northern Jaffna Peninsula.

BIRD FLU: Indonesian officials say a teenager from West Java has tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu. The Health Ministry said today (Saturday) the 17-year old is being treated at a local hospital. Elsewhere, Cambodia's Health Ministry announced a new outbreak of the H5N1 strain among poultry in the country's southeast. The ministry said the outbreak was discovered in ducks in a village farm in Prey Veng province. More than one-thousand ducks have already died, and authorities are culling the remaining poultry to contain the spread of the virus.

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