Israeli air strike killed one, not 40, in village; Lebanese PM says

Monday, August 7, 2006

The Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, told a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Beirut that an Israeli air strike killed more than 40 people in the village of Houla in southern Lebanon. However, he later revised the figure down to one.

"An hour ago, there was a horrific massacre in the village of Houla in which more than 40 martyrs were victims of deliberate bombing", Siniora told the meeting. "If these horrific actions are not state terrorism then what is state terrorism?" he asked rhetorically.

65 survivors have been pulled out from the rubble, half of them children. It was feared that the air strike had led to a reprise of the bombing of Qana last month.

"They thought that the whole building smashed on the heads of about 40 people and it turned out, thank God because we are not happy if someone is killed, they have been saved", Siniora told reporters later on Monday.

There have been several strikes on Lebanese cities, towns and villages today as Israeli warplanes have hit targets in Beirut, Tyre, Qassmieh, Ghaziyeh, Ghassaniyeh, Nabatiyeh, Naqoura and Ras al-Biyada. Meanwhile, skirmishes on the ground between Hezbollah and Israeli troops are continuing in the border village of Bint Jbail.