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8/15/05 World News in Lao:  Israel-Hezbollah Ceasefire Holds, Lebanese Return South


Israel-Lebanon: A ceasefire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon is generally holding for a second day today (Tuesday). Lebanese security officials say Israeli forces have withdrawn from the mainly Christian southern town of Marjayoun, which they captured last week. A top Israeli general (Brigadier General Shuki Shahur, deputy chief of Israel's Northern Command) says other military units in Lebanon are preparing to hand over their positions to U.N. troops -- or possibly to Lebanese government soldiers -- starting Wednesday.

Israel- Palestinians: The Israeli army says it carried out two airstrikes in Gaza late Monday, both aimed at houses belonging to militants. The first was aimed at a home in the Jabalya refugee camp, and the second hit a house in the Beit Hanoun district of Northern Gaza. In both cases residents of the houses were warned in advance. Earlier, Palestinian hospital officials said an Israeli military strike in northern Gaza killed three Palestinians, including a teenage boy.

Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan officials say government troops and Tamil rebels fought a fierce battle today (Tuesday) in the northern Jaffna peninsula in their latest clash since heavy fighting erupted last month. Officials say Sri Lankan soldiers and rebels exchanged artillery and mortar fire overnight around the village of Muhumalai, near the line separating government and rebel-held territory.

China Typhoon: China's official Xinhua news agency says the death toll from last week's Typhoon Saomai has risen to 295, and the number is likely to increase. Xinhua says today (Tuesday) that most of those killed lost their lives when the typhoon destroyed ships in the port city of Fuding, in China's southeastern Fujian Province. Others were killed in floods and landslides in Fujian, Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces.

Syria-Mideast Peace: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says resistance to Israel is legitimate and that peace in the Middle East will remain elusive for some time.

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