Seven Canadians killed by Israeli air strike

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Seven Canadians were killed, and six others were in critical condition, after an Israeli raid in Lebanon on Sunday, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay announced. The deaths were believed to be the first recent casualties in Lebanon from any G8 country.

Associated Press reports anonymous Lebanese officials saying the family of Canadians were killed at their home in the town of Aitaroun. Many Lebanese citizens have emigrated to Canada and often return to spend their summers in the south of Lebanon.

Sixteen thousand Canadians have registered with the embassy in Beirut, but MacKay said the number of those present could be as high as 40,000. "We're calling for restraint in all sectors right now and hope to be able to have those ships in place and citizens moving out of Lebanon as quickly as possible." MacKay said.

Parliament Hill demonstrators in Ottawa on Sunday protested the Harper government's position regarding the ongoing strikes. One placard declared, "Killing children is not a 'measured response'," referring to the G8 statement released earlier.

During a protest in Montréal on Sunday, one woman said she had just been informed that two of her family members were killed in the Israeli air strike. The unnamed woman screamed "My father, my uncle — they're dead. What's happening?" She said her family members were in the Middle East for a summer vacation.

The deaths occurred on the fifth day of Israel's military attacks in Lebanon, instigated by the capture of 2 Israeli soldiers and killing of 8 others by the Shiite Hezbollah in a cross-border attack. The fighting has caused at least 148 fatalities in Lebanon and 23 in Israel.