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      07-16-2006, 05:26 PM   #5

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Buildings in southern Beirut were damaged by airstrikes. The Israeli army said it hit more than 130 targets in Lebanon in the past 24 hours.
Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Israel Strikes Back After Rockets Kill 8 in Haifa

BEIRUT, Lebanon, July 16 - Israel unleashed a fierce bombardment on targets in southern Beirut and southern Lebanon today after eight Israelis were killed and dozens wounded in a Hezbollah rocket attack on Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city, that used a more potent missile with a large warhead and a longer range.

The missile, which Israel said was a Syrian-produced model of a Iranian Fajr-3 model, has a range of more than 30 miles and carries a warhead of about 10 pounds of high explosive, which included antipersonnel shrapnel, a significant change from the smaller Katyushas that Hezbollah has mostly been using.

Reports from Lebanon said about 45 people were killed and more than 100 wounded today in various Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon. Among the dead were eight Canadian citizens, according to the Cana
dian government, with six critically injured, largely from an air attack on the southern border town of Aitaroun, where some of the Lebanese-Canadians were vacationing.

The cost of the damage caused by the air attacks have been estimated by the Lebanese government at more than half a billion dollars, a figure that does not include loss of tourism and commerce.

The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, promised Israel “new surprises” and said Hezbollah had “no choice” but to hit Haifa. “As long as the enemy acts without limitations or red lines, it’s our right to continue the confrontation without limits,” he said, in a taped speech shown on Hezbollah’s Al Manar television station. Mr. Nasrallah appeared from the waist up to be unhurt, despite unconfirmed reports that he had been wounded in an Israeli strike on his bunker in southern Beirut. 7/16/006 NYT