More than 200 people have been buried in mass funerals in southern Lebanon today. Some 5,000 mourners gathered in Qana, where an air-strike by Israel’s forces on July 30 was one of the deadliest in its war to oust Hizbollah from the region. Accounts of how many villagers were killed in the incident are open to argument.
Locals said the graves were for 29 Lebanese civilians and two Hizbollah militia men. The US-based rights watchdog Human Rights Watch put the death toll at 28, half of them children, and 13 missing. A three-storey building collapsed following a hunt for rocket launchers, with people still sheltering inside.
Qana has known bloodshed like this before. Ten years ago, it suffered losses even greater, in exchanges of fire between the Israelis and guerrilla fighters. Qana is traditionally considered to be the place where Jesus turned water into wine.