Israel launches fresh air strikes on Beirut | india | Hindustan Times
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Israel launches fresh air strikes on Beirut

india Updated: Aug 03, 2006 10:00 IST

Israel launched fresh air strikes on suspected Hezbollah positions in southern Beirut on Thursday as UN powers inched toward agreement on a Security Council resolution calling for a halt to the fighting.

At least three explosions lit up the night sky over the battered city as aircraft circled overhead, the first such strikes on the Lebanese capital since Israel declared a partial bombing lull on Sunday.

No details of casualties were immediately available but the southern parts of Beirut, considered a stronghold of the Hezbollah Shiite militia, have been largely reduced to rubble after earlier heavy Israeli air attacks.

Israeli jets also struck the northern Lebanese region of Akkar, near the Syrian border, the second attack there in 24 hours after two bridges were hit on Wednesday, Lebanese police said.

The fresh air strikes came after Hezbollah fired its biggest salvo of rockets at Israel on Wednesday, in apparent retaliation for an Israeli commando operation in which five suspected guerrillas were snatched from a hospital.

One Israeli was killed in the barrage of 230 rockets, the heaviest in 23 days of fighting sparked by Hezbollah's July 12 attack inside Israel in which eight Israeli soldiers were killed and two abducted.

A Hezbollah missile also hit near Beit Shean, some 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of the Lebanese border in the militia's deepest strike yet into Israel.

The barrage came as a blow to Israeli claims to have significantly reduced Hezbollah's ability to launch such rocket strikes, the main objective of the Jewish state's war in southern Lebanon.