Rocket kills Muslim girl in northern Israel as Hizbullah confirms 25 fighters dead
Israeli warplanes bombed Beirut Tuesday afternoon and troops battled Hizbullah fighters as the two-week-old war continued, despite intensive diplomatic efforts.
At least ten heavy blasts were heard in Beirut, the first Israeli strikes in the city in nearly two days. A gray cloud billowed up from the capital's southern district, a Hizbullah stronghold that has been heavily bombarded.
Al-Jazeera television said 20 Israeli rockets hit the suburbs in a quick succession of blasts.
In other developments, Israeli troops sealed off a Hizbullah stronghold in southern Lebanon and the group's fighters fired rockets at northern Israel, killing a Muslim girl. An old Israeli man died of heart attack after a Katyusha rocket landed near his house in Haifa.
An Israeli military official said troops had surrounded Bint Jbeil. Israeli forces have seized some houses on the outskirts of the hilltop town since beginning the assault Monday, but do not yet control the town. Up to 200 Hizbullah fighters are believed to be defending the town, which lies about 4 kilometers north of the Israeli border. Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV reported the fighters were mounting a strong resistance against elite Israeli troops who were trying to advance under "heavy bombardment."
At least 70 rockets were fired at northern Israel, and a teenage girl was killed and three other people were injured in the Arab viallage of Mghar. Rockets also hit the towns of Kiryat Shemona, Nahariya, Tiberias, Acre and Safed.
Meanwhile, Mahmoud Komati, the deputy chief of the Hizbullah politburo, told The Associated Press that 25 of its fighters had been killed as of Monday, including 17 in ground fighting this week. The Israeli army said it had released two Lebanese detained by troops in southern Lebanon on suspicion of belonging to Hizbullah.
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- Hizbullah, Israel carry out prisoner swap deal
- Lebanon: Nine dead in Hizbullah stronghold blast