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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 July 2006, 23:49 GMT 00:49 UK
Israel renews south Lebanon raids
Lebanese people salvage belongings from bomb crater
Lebanese people say they are being punished collectively
Israeli air raids have killed at least 23 people in southern Lebanon hours after Israel warned that the area would come under further heavy attack.

More than 120 Lebanese have died since clashes with Israel began on Wednesday.

Twelve Israeli civilians have been killed from Hezbollah rockets, including eight in Haifa on Sunday.

Early on Monday, Israel planes targeted the port of Tripoli, Lebanon's second city, for the first time, with at least seven Lebanese soldiers reported dead.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the Haifa attack - the worst on Israel since clashes started - would have "far-reaching consequences".

These extremist elements... cannot be allowed to plunge the Middle East into chaos
G8 nations statement

The Israeli air strikes began after Hezbollah seized two Israeli soldiers in a raid into Israel on Wednesday.

In other developments:

  • The Israeli army says Hezbollah rockets fired from Lebanon have struck deeper into Israel than ever before, hitting the town of Afula, 50km from the border, and the outskirts of Nazareth

  • New Israeli air strikes late on Sunday set fuel tanks ablaze at Beirut's international airport

  • Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah says the battle against Israel is "just at the beginning", in his first televised appearance since the offensive

  • Iran's foreign ministry denies Israeli allegations that it supplied missiles to Hezbollah

    Map

  • Top European Union and United Nations officials arrive in Beirut for talks on the crisis. The UN envoy backs Lebanon's call for a ceasefire but urges the release of the captured soldiers

  • Leaders of the G8 nations blame extremist forces for the crisis, but call on Israel to end military operations.

Israel rattled

At least 16 died in Israeli air strikes on Sunday the city of Tyre, while attacks on a border village killed at least seven, including five with Canadian and Lebanese citizenship.

Rescuers searched the debris in Tyre with more feared trapped under the rubble.

The strikes came hours after the Hezbollah attack on Haifa, which prompted Israel to warn the perpetrators would pay a "very heavy price".

Rescue workers wheel a victim from the site of a rocket attack by Hezbollah militants at the train station in the northern Israeli city of Haifa
The Haifa attack was the worst since the violence began

Correspondents say the large death-count in a strike on Israel's third-largest city has rattled the whole country.

The eight killed were part of a train repair crew working at a railway depot when the rocket crashed through the roof.

It is the second time in three days that Haifa has been hit by Hezbollah rockets, and raises Israel's death toll from the fighting to 24 overall.

According to Israel Radio a second wave of four rockets then hit, followed by a new barrage of rockets to the north of the city.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it was retaliation for the deaths of Lebanese civilians and the destruction of the country's infrastructure during the Israeli air raids.

Israel has carried out a heavy bombing campaign across Lebanon, hitting Hezbollah sites, but also a wide range of civilian targets.

City exodus

On Sunday, warplanes renewed attacks on Beirut's airport.

Hezbollah's al-Manar TV was attacked in the southern suburbs of Beirut, and a major power station in the city was struck.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Hezbollah, Syria and Iran are using our country as a battleground against Israel
Nayef, Beirut

There was also a raid in the eastern city of Baalbek, where local Hezbollah leaders were believed to have gathered.

US security teams have landed at the US Embassy in Beirut to start planning the evacuation of Americans.

Foreign nationals have been leaving Lebanon to escape the violence.

As the violence has escalated the number of locals attempting to flee has grown, but with the Israelis targeting the border areas and nearby roads, this has become increasingly difficult.




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The aftermath of the bombing in Haifa





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