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Last Updated: Monday, 17 July 2006, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Lebanese residents 'scared to go'
Bomb crater in main road in Nabatiyeh
Many of the roads in the area are damaged
Bassam Shamoun is a charity worker living with his wife and three children in southern Lebanon.

His village, Ansar, is 12km west of the town of Nabatiyeh, in an area which has been targeted in Israeli bombing raids. Here he describes the conditions:

Life here is miserable, especially for the families who have kids. They were just starting their summer holidays - and now life has changed dramatically.

We're all going through a lot of stress, fear and uncertainty.

Nothing has been hit in our village yet, but the village next to us has been hit. Right now I can hear the planes and the bombs, really loud. It's very scary for the children.

Afraid

We are isolated, we can't get to Sidon, Tyre or Beirut. We can't even get to Nabatiyeh - the road was hit yesterday.

Lebanon map
Today we were thinking about leaving for Beirut. We started to pack, but then we heard about some cars that had been attacked on the road to Beirut, so we decided not to go.

The roads are so dangerous, many people have lost their lives on them. People are afraid to travel - but they are also afraid if they stay in their houses.

For me this is difficult because I lost my brother on the road in 1984, during the civil war, when he was trying to escape from one place to another. His car was hit and he was killed.

I have three children, aged 18, 15 and 12. I can see the stress in them.

Last night none of us could sleep. We just stay in the house.

When we see what those bombs are doing we don't think there's anywhere that's safe. This area is not prepared for bombings, there are no bomb shelters.

We feel there's nothing we can do. We feel hopeless.

Tranquilisers

We have had no power for the last few days, which is very unusual here. There is no landline or e-mail access, though we still have cell phones operating.

Injured child in Nabatiyeh hospital
Families have been killed and injured during the raids
We are able to get food at the moment - bread comes from another village, but you don't know how long food supplies will last.

Everybody's nervous and afraid. Today I saw one of the local doctors, he said most people in the village are taking tranquilisers.

During the day we try to be with our neighbours, who have children of the same age, so that the children can be away from the pressure.

At this moment my 12-year-old son is playing outside on his bicycle. But he has a small radio on his bike and he won't stop listening to what's happening, even if I tell him to turn it off.

The adults are following the news on television, but sometimes we get so depressed we can't watch anymore, so we just sit and talk.

But the main topic is the situation - trying to analyse what will happen. We try to avoid it but we can't.





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