AFP reports a Lebanese family of 10, including a Shi’ite Lebanese sheikh, his wife and eight children, were killed when an Israeli missile struck their home near the town of Nabatiyeh in southern Lebanon.
Another family of seven, including a 10-month-old baby, was killed in the village of Baflay, while air strikes killed two civilians in Baraashit, five in Shour and three in Srifa – all villages near the coastal city of Tyre – police said.
A total of 20 other civilians were wounded, hospitals said.
The deaths brings the total civilian toll to 31 killed and 56 wounded since Israel began a land, sea, and air assault on Lebanon following yesterday morning’s abduction of two Israeli soldiers by the Shiite Hezbollah militia.
Israeli killed in rocket attack
An Israeli woman was killed when rocket fired from southern Lebanon struck the coastal resort town of Nahariya in northern Israel, medical sources said.
The woman in her 40s was killed when a Katyusha-style rocket scored a direct hit on her house.
Another four people were wounded, including one seriously, in the attack and were taken to hospital, the sources added.
Dozens of Katyusha-style rockets, fired by militiamen from the Shiite fundamentalist Hezbollah movement from southern Lebanon exploded in communities along Israel’s northern border, military sources said.
Hezbollah claimed its guerrillas fired rockets on the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona and launched 60 Grad rockets on Nahariya.
Lebanese police and airport officials said the Israeli air strikes have forced the closure of the Beirut airport.
Shells began crashing at a runway of the country’s only international airport early this morning during the ongoing Israeli air and sea assault against Lebanon, forcing diversion of two flights to Cyprus, airport employees said.
A shell struck shortly after 6 am on the eastern runway, one of the three the facility had, employees reported, while another impact was heard shortly afterward.
The Lebanese police reported the shells hit the runways and a
road leading from the city.
The main terminal building of the $A665.25 million facility which was built in the late 1990s was intact.
It was not clear if all the shelling came from Israeli military aircraft or that gunboats participated in the attack on the seaside facility, which is located in the southern suburbs of Beirut, a stronghold of Hizbollah guerrillas.
The latest fighting erupted in southern Lebanon yesterday after Hizbollah attacked Israeli border positions, capturing two Israeli soldiers.
Eight other Israeli soldiers were killed in the fighting and Israel promised harsh retaliation, blasting bridges and roads in southern Lebanon throughout yesterday.