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Annan Condemns Israeli Airstrike on Lebanese Civilian Shelter


The U.N. Security Council was called into emergency session, following the Israeli bombing of the Lebanese village of Qana that killed dozens of civilians. It was the bloodiest incident in the almost three-week old conflict between Israeli forces and Lebanese-based Hezbollah militants.

Secretary General Kofi Annan opened the meeting with a renewed call for an immediate ceasefire. "We must condemn this action in the strongest possible terms, and I appeal to you to do likewise," he said.

Lebanon's representative called the bombing a massacre. Nouhad Mahmoud urged the U.N. to listen to - what he called - the voice of the Lebanese people. "They are calling upon you: cease the fire immediately without delay," he said.

Israel's Ambassador Dan Gillerman apologized for the attack, but said the civilians killed by Israeli fire were actually victims of Hezbollah. "They are the victims of terror. If there were no Hezbollah, this would never have happened," he said.

Gillerman said Hezbollah must be disarmed before a ceasefire is put in place.