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Reporters Share Latest from Lebanon, Israel

Reporters from Lebanon and Israel give an update on the current crisis in the Middle East.

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  • JULIAN MANYON, ITV News Correspondent:

    The roads we took were deserted and dangerous. In normal times, Tyre is an hour's drive from Beirut, but now virtually all the bridges are smashed by the Israeli air force and we had to make a detour deep into the mountains.

    As we drove further south, the roads emptied. Not far away, a cloud of smoke rose from an Israeli air strike. Normally bustling Nabitir (ph) was a ghost town. No one was traveling in our direction. But as we approached Tyre, car loads of refugees were flooding out.

    At the entrance to Tyre, a giant bomb crater almost severed the road. Beyond it, a city under siege by the Israeli air force. Columns of smoke rise from attacks on nearby villages, and one of the city's largest buildings has been blasted by an Israeli bomb.

    Today, the Lebanese authorities took drastic steps to deal with the number of corpses overwhelming the city's morgue. Army lories brought some 80 dead to a hastily dug mass grave. The normal tradition of family burial could not be observed, though each coffin was marked with the victim's name so the bodies can be recovered and reburied later. The small coffins were those of children.

    Every day, the human cost of this Israeli operation is becoming more apparent. The Israelis insist that they choose their targets carefully, but the dead and injured are overwhelmingly civilians.

    At the city's hospitals, doctors are struggling to deal with casualties streaming in from the surrounding areas.

  • DR. BASSAM MTREK, Jabal Amal Hospital (through translator):

    I've seen just civilians, children and women, most of them children and women, around 60, 65 persons are children.

  • JULIAN MANYON:

    Overcome by grief, a woman whose husband was killed in an air strike. She has not yet found the courage to tell her children that their father is dead.

    The Israeli air force is dropping bombs just outside the city of Tyre, but it's also dropping leaflets like this one, warning local people to leave their homes and go beyond the Litani River to the north over there.

    They say that their homes and villages here in the south are being used as staging areas for terrorist attacks; they say their lives are in danger. The leaflet is signed quite simply, "The state of Israel."

    Many have fled, but some are refusing to leave. In a bomb shelter in Tyre, 40 people from seven different families hide together in stifling heat with no running water and no toilet. Normal life is breaking down in this city. And with the Israeli forces striking ever fiercer blows, no one knows what the future will bring.

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