Lebanese village ‘massacre’

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With the encouragement of Bush and Blair, Israel continued its murderous air, land and sea bombardments on Lebanon yesterday, striking central Beirut for the first time.

A truck in al-Ashrafiya district in central Beirut was struck by fire from an Israeli warship.

More than 55 people were killed in south Lebanon, raising the death toll there to about 295 people.

In the southern al-Srifa village, at least 15 houses were completely demolished.

At least 12 villagers, including several children, were killed and 30 wounded and Afif Najdi, the mayor, said a ‘massacre has been committed in Srifa’.

He added: ‘There are dozens dead and massive destruction. Emergency services are putting out fires (but) they cannot reach the houses to recover bodies.’

Hezbollah said one of its fighters was killed in the fighting.

In al-Ansariya, a Red Cross centre was hit by an air raid, injuring a medic. 

A car in Tyre was hit injuring seven people and in al-Nabatiya, two women and three children were killed in their house.

Witnesses also reported that Israeli forces struck a house in Maarabun town, near Baalbek, killing five civilians.

Another strike hit al-Nabishit area near Baalbek damaging a two-storey building, killing and injuring people. Israeli warplanes also struck Luci town in west Bekaa.

The Islamic Resistance, Hezbollah’s military wing, said in a statement it had rebuffed two Israeli military incursion attempts in southern Lebanon.

Eight rockets fired from Lebanon exploded in Haifa.

There were no reports of casualties, Israeli police said.

Meanwhile, nine Palestinians were killed in raids on Gaza and the West Bank.

Seven Palestinians were killed, including three Hamas fighters, when Israeli troops moved into Mughazi refugee camp in Gaza. Five Israeli soldiers were wounded as Palestinians mounted fierce resistance.

A further three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces in the West Bank town of Nablus.

Palestinian security sources reported that troops arrived in 30 jeeps escorted by two tanks and three bulldozers, then opened fire and surrounded the local headquarters of the Palestinian National Authority.