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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:16, July 31, 2006
Israeli air raid kills 54 civilians
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Photo:A rescuer carries a body of a child killed in Israeli air raid in Qana, 6 kilometers (4 miles) from the port city of Tyre in south Lebanon, July 30, 2006.
A rescuer carries a body of a child killed in Israeli air raid in Qana, 6 kilometers (4 miles) from the port city of Tyre in south Lebanon, July 30, 2006.
An Israeli air strike killed 54 civilians, including 37 children, yesterday, prompting Lebanon to tell US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice she was unwelcome in Beirut and fuelling world pressure for a ceasefire.

The raid on the southern village of Qana was the bloodiest single attack during Israel's 19-day-old war on Hezbollah.

The UN Security Council met at 1500 GMT to discuss Lebanon at the request of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. At the meeting, Annan urged the Council to condemn Israel's attack on Qana, and called for an immediate end to hostilities.

China also strongly condemned the attack on Qana. "China urges the two sides to realize an immediate and unconditional ceasefire so as to avoid bigger disasters," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed "deep sorrow" at the bombing, but vowed the war against Hezbollah would go on. He told Rice the army needed another 10 to 14 days to press its offensive.

As anger convulsed Lebanon and the Arab world, several thousand protesters chanted "Death to Israel, Death to America" outside the United Nations headquarters in downtown Beirut and some smashed their way into the building.

Rice, who was in Israel and had planned to go to Beirut later in the day, said she was saddened by the Qana air raid, but did not call for an immediate ceasefire.

Her mediation drive in tatters, Rice will leave for Washington today to work on a UN resolution that could achieve what the White House called a "sustainable" ceasefire.

The White House also said the Qana raid showed the critical need for Israel to take "the utmost care" to avoid civilian casualties.

Source: China Daily


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