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Israel strikes Beirut, tightens blockade

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Israel strikes Beirut, tightens blockade


The people of Lebanon are entering a second day of Israeli attacks after Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers on Wednesday. Israel hit fresh targets in Lebanon overnight including a bridge in Hizbollah’s southern Beirut stronghold.
Security sources say three people were killed and 20 wounded, adding to the 55 civilians already killed since the offensive began. Israeli raids aimed at imposing a land, sea and air blockade have forced the closure of the main road linking Beirut and Damascus.

Beirut’s airport had already been closed after an aerial assault on its runways. Fears are growing that the violence might spread from Lebanon to Syria, which backs Hizbollah along with its ally Iran. Israel’s Defence Minister Amir Peretz said that “all sovereign regimes in the region must know that they too bear responsibility.”
“We have no intention of letting any player responsible for this crisis off the hook,” he said.

The Lebanese cabinet has also met. Information Minister Ghazi Al-Aridi said that it was “calling on the UN Security Council to take an immediate decision to stop the firing and lift the blockade.” It was “urging the Council to put an end to Israeli aggression.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, has warned Israel not to attack Syria -saying this would bring a fierce response.

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