Hezbollah resistance fighters killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seventeen others as a massive Israeli invasion force was halted on the outskirts of Bint Jbail two miles from the border with Israel.
An Israeli Apache attack helicopter was also shot down with both pilots killed and several others badly injured.
Bint Jbail is about 2km north of the hilltop village of Marun al-Ra’s which took the Israelis four days to take.
Hezbollah remained defiant as Israeli air strikes continued.
A community mosque and health centre were flattened in the port city of Tyre yesterday.
Six Red Cross paramedics and their patients, both children and adults, were wounded when two Red Cross ambulances were hit by Israeli missiles as they carried victims of a bomb attack minutes before.
The ambulances were clearly marked and the only vehicles driving along the road.
A delayed action bomb penetrated through two floors of an apartment block.
Israeli helicopters also fired at least five missiles into the Palestinian al-Rashidiya refugee camp in southern Lebanon.
Appealing for a ceasefire, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud said yesterday: ‘What is happening is something that should not be happening in the 21st century.
‘We have a lot of civilian casualties – 200 children killed and 2,500 wounded.
‘Our infrastructure is in ruins, hospitals, airports, roads, bridges – everything.’
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Beirut on an unannounced visit after calling for an ‘urgent ceasefire’ provided there were the ‘right conditions’.
She cancelled a lunchtime press conference that was planned after talks with Lebanese premier Fouad Siniora and talks with Nabih Berri the parliamentary speaker and other lawmakers including prominent Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.
This came after Rice had reiterated US pre-conditions that Hezbollah release the two Israeli prisoners of war it is holding and withdraw from the Lebanese border.
In London, journalists turned the heat on UK premier Blair with one asking him ‘why do you want to continue the killing of Lebanese civilians?’
Blair also refused to comment on an appeal from Liberal Democrat Menzies Campbell to suspend UK arms exports to Israel.
In his letter, Campbell wrote: ‘Kofi Annan has said attacks in Lebanon are inflicting collective punishment on the Lebanese people and the UN Emergency Relief Co-ordinator has described attacks on Beirut as a “violation of humanitarian law”.
‘The government must now comply with its own arms export rules and institute an immediate suspension of all UK arms exports to Israel.’
When asked by a journalist what he thought of Menzies Campbell’s call for a ‘moratorium’, Blair replied: ‘I’m not going to make any comment on what the Liberal Democrats think.’