Israeli missiles that struck a house in south Lebanon early Tuesday killed seven people and injured one other, Lebanese hospital and security officials said. Israeli jets fired a missile at the house in the town of Nabatiyeh, destroying it and killing its owner, a man named Mohammed Ghandour, along with six other people including his son Hassan. One woman was also wounded, according to the officials.
The attack came a day after Israeli troops battled their way to a key Hizbullah stronghold in south Lebanon, the town of Bint Jbail, seizing a hilltop in heavy fighting and capturing two fighters, according to the Israeli army.
Earlier, Israeli warplanes raided villages in the south and israel said its warplanes targeted an arms cache in Marjeyoun. Jets also bombed a truck parked near a gas station on the road between Bleibel and Wadi Shahrour southeast of Beirut. Tens of thousands of Lebanese have fled the war zone, packing into the southern port city of Sidon and other refuges.
On the political front, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a surprise visit to Beirut on the way to Israel. Lebanon's Future TV said during her visit to Beirut Rice suggested the creation of a buffer zone in the south, the deployment of the army there and upgrading UNIFIL's role.
Parliament speaker Nabih Berri, a prominent Shiite figure, who has been negotiating on behalf of Hizbullah, rejected the idea and said a cease-fire should be immediate, leaving the other issues for much later.