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Published: Sunday, 7/30/2006

Children among dead in strike on Lebanon


QANA, Lebanon - Israeli missiles hit several buildings in a southern Lebanon village as people slept today, killing at least 56, most of them children, in the deadliest attack in 19 days of fighting. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed "great sorrow" for the airstrikes but blamed Hezbollah guerrillas for using the area to launch rockets at Israel. Olmert told U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza that he needed 10 days to two weeks to finish offensive in Lebanon, according to a senior Israeli government official.

The Lebanese Red Cross said the airstrike in Qana, in which at least 34 children were killed, pushed the overall Lebanese death toll to more than 500. Rice postponed a visit to Lebanon in a setback for diplomatic efforts to end hostilities.

Infuriated Lebanese officials said they had asked Rice to postpone the visit after Israel's missile strike. But Rice said she called Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to say she would postpone the trip, and that she had work to do in Jerusalem to end the fighting.

Saniora asked U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to hold an emergency Security Council meeting to arrange for an immediate cease-fire after the Qana strike.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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