Fighting continues in Lebanon

Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters are continuing to fight in southern Lebanon, following the deadliest Israeli airstrike on the country so far.

On Sunday, Israel launched its deadliest airstrike so far in Lebanon, killing more than 50 people - many of them children - in the southern Lebanese town of Qana.

The deaths led to Israel suspending airstrike for 48 hours. However, it has been reported that Israeli war planes attacked several targets in Lebanon, killing three Lebanese soldiers travelling in a vehicle near Tyre, since declaring the suspension of airstrikes.

Israel said that it had ordered the suspension of airstrikes, so that an investigation into the incident in Qana could be held, but stressed that it would react if it was attacked.

Meanwhile, fighting has continued in the region between Israeli ground troops and Hezbollah fighters, while there have also been reports of missiles being fired between both sides.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that she hoped that a UN resolution leading to a ceasefire could be achieved this week. She also said that both Israel and Lebanon had agreed to a UN international force being deployed in the region.

However, a meeting of the UN to discuss the situation in Middle East, which was scheduled for Monday, has now been postponed indefinitely, due to a lack of "political clarity", a UN spokesperson said.

Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz said that Israel could not agree to an immediate ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tony Blair has called for "maximum pressure" to get the UN resolution achieved this week, as well as "maximum restraint" in the region.

It is believed that around 750 people have been killed in Lebanon since the conflict began, while 51 Israelis have died.

The conflict began when two Israeli soldiers were captured and eight others were killed by Hezbollah fighters.


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