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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 July 2006, 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK
'Their bodies litter the road'
Lebanese civilians react as they look at the bodies of those killed
More than 80 Lebanese have died in the attacks so far
An Israeli air strike has killed at least 18 Lebanese civilians, including women and children, who were fleeing southern border areas. It is the deadliest single attack since the bombardment began on Wednesday.

Eyewitnesses have been explaining how events unfolded.

Families in the village of Marwahin are said to have been told by the Israeli army at around 0800 local time (0500 GMT) that they had just hours to leave.

Some 100 residents evacuated and headed for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) base to seek shelter, but were refused entry after officials were unable to confirm the warning by Israel.

'Under seige'

An eyewitness to the attack, Akram Ghannam, told al-Jazeera television that after being turned away from the UN base residents were forced to leave the village.

Ghannam said a pick-up truck and two cars full of children and elderly people left Marwahin for Tyre in southern Lebanon.

He said Israeli aircraft raided the vehicles.

UN peacekeepers inspect the vehicles hit in an Israeli air raid near Tyre, Lebanon
Two cars and a pick-up truck were hit in the raid

"The Israeli forces attacked them on the Shamma road and their bodies litter the road," he said.

Medical sources have said around half the passengers were children or teenagers.

Relatives have since blamed Unifil for the deaths, and some have pelted peacekeepers with stones in anger.

"If they had taken people in to begin with then they would never have died," Mohammed Oqla, speaking from a hospital where the injured were taken, told Reuters news agency.

Ghannam added: "We appeal to the Unifilor the Red Cross to take us in for if they do not do this while we are alive, they will be forced to collect the wounded and the dead on the Shamma road later on."

He said people in the village are now frightened.

"The people are scared and the Israelis continue to bombard the surroundings of Marwahin. Marwahin has been under siege since the morning".


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