At least six loud explosions have rocked the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Israeli jets targeted what the army said are Hizbollah strongholds in the southern suburbs of the city. Offices belonging to the guerrillas, the house of a senior militia leader and a building used by Palestinian group Hamas were hit. Warplanes dropped leaflets warning residents to leave the neighbourhood – all but deserted anyway after weeks of heavy bombing.
Meanwhile, fighting raged on the ground in the south with aerial attacks in the regions of Tyre and Marjayoun. The Israeli army is talking about pushing deeper into southern Lebanon, possibly as far north as the Litani river, some 20 kilometres from the border. However that would require further approval from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s cabinet. Israel, which has 10,000 soldiers in Lebanon, says it has carved out what it describes as a security zone of 20 villages around seven kilometres from the frontier.