Home / International / International -- World Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
13 Israeli Soldiers Killed in One Day
Adjust font size:

Thirteen Israeli soldiers were reported killed in fierce fighting with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon yesterday, and world diplomats in Rome called for a lasting, but not immediate, ceasefire in the 15-day-old war.


Participants at the crisis conference on Lebanon pledged to work urgently for a "lasting, permanent and sustainable" ceasefire, but did not demand that the fighting stop now.


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the conference had agreed that a UN-mandated international force was needed.


NATO's chief said it was too early to discuss a possible role for the alliance, as suggested by Israel.


The Rome conference agreed to convene a donors' meeting for Lebanon and urged Israel to exercise restraint in its assault, launched after Hezbollah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight in a cross-border raid on July 12.


In the latest fighting, Lebanese security sources said guerrillas ambushed an Israeli force advancing on the town of Bint Jbeil, four kilometers from the Israel-Lebanon border.


Hezbollah sources said the Israeli force was cut off and most of its vehicles were destroyed. "Our men can hear the screams of their wounded calling for help," one source said.


Al-Jazeera television said 13 soldiers had been killed. If confirmed, the toll would be the Israeli army's worst one-day loss since it launched its Lebanon offensive two weeks ago.


Gaza offensive


In the Gaza Strip, scene of another Israeli offensive, Israeli forces killed 14 Palestinians, including nine militants and a three-year-old girl, in fighting across the territory.


Israel has killed 133 Palestinians in a month-long campaign to recover a captured soldier and stop rocket fire from Gaza.


Its war against Hezbollah has killed at least 418 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians. At least 42 Israelis have also died.


The battles occurred as foreign ministers, including Rice, met in Rome to discuss how to end the conflict and bring humanitarian aid to Lebanon.


UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had said he wanted the meeting to urge the Security Council to call for an immediate ceasefire an idea resisted by Washington, which wants a "durable solution" first.


Annan said it was important to include Iran and Syria to reach an agreement to end fighting in Lebanon. Rice has blamed the two countries, Hezbollah's main allies, for stoking the conflict.


Israel, Iran and Syria were not invited to the Rome talks.


Hezbollah vowed not to accept "humiliating" truce terms and to take its rocket strikes deeper into Israel. Hours later, more missiles hit the port of Haifa, wounding several people, police said.


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert strove to limit diplomatic damage from the killing of four UN observers in an air strike on their post in south Lebanon Tuesday, telling Annan he was sorry at the deaths, but expressing shock at the UN chief's suggestion the attack was deliberate.


UN officials said the raid flattened the building housing the observers. Initial UN assessments suggested Israel had used precision-guided munitions, diplomats in Jerusalem said.


Humanitarian crisis


Israeli bombing has forced an estimated 750,000 people to flee their homes. Many are still trapped in war zones.


The first UN aid convoy left Beirut for the southern port of Tyre. The 10 trucks were carrying 90 tons of supplies, including enough medicine for 50,000 people for three months.


A Jordanian military plane landed at Beirut airport to evacuate badly wounded people from among 2,000 hurt in Lebanon so far. It was the first jet to land at the airport since Israeli planes bombed runways on July 13.


Israel, with tacit US approval, has said it will press on with its assault. It also plans to enforce a narrow no-go zone reaching two kilometers into south Lebanon with air strikes and artillery fire until international forces are deployed.


Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, whose group ignited the war by capturing two Israeli soldiers in a raid into Israel on July 12, rejected US ceasefire conditions.


(China Daily July 27, 2006)


Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
Rome Talks Fail to Agree on Immediate Mideast Ceasefire
4 UN Observers Killed in Israeli Attack in Lebanon
Israel, Hezbollah Continue Attacks
Hezbollah Not to Free Soldiers, Israeli Assault Continues
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号