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NRI News - Israeli air strikes in Lebanon

3 NRIs injured and one missinging in Lebanon during Israeli air strikes

Lebanon, July 19, 2006
Rubi Thakarwal
NRI press

Three NRIs were injured and one was missing after Israeli air strikes at a glass factory in Shatura, the eastern Bekaa valley in Lebanon. The glass factory was owned by an British NRI.

Indian embassy in Beirut spokesperson said, "Four Indian Navy warships anchored overnight off the Lebanese coast, were on Wednesday given berthing space in Beirut port to move Indians to safety and will carry the Indians to Cyprus, before being airlifted back into India". Israel has allowed the Indian warships to carry Indians and Syria also allowed the Indian embassy to transport Indian in buses to Syria from Beirut on a highway.

It is estimated that ther are 12,000 Indians in Lebanon and only about 1,000 Indians like to leave the Lebanon.

Israeli troops punched into south Lebanon on Wednesday as warplanes flattened houses and buildings. The Lebanese prime minister say about 300 people in his country had died in the eight-day offensive.Thousands of foreigners fled Lebanon in one of the largest evacuation operations since World War II, including 1,000 Americans who arrived in Cyprus early Thursday on a rented cruise ship.

Israel vowed to press the offensive in Lebanon until it destroys the militant Shiite guerrillas' vast arsenal of missiles and drives Hezbollah fighters far from its northern border.

The Bush administration is giving Israel a tacit green light to take the time it needs to neutralize the Shiite militant group, but the Europeans fear mounting civilian casualties will play into the hands of militants and weaken Lebanon's democratically elected government.

In all, more than 10,000 people from at least 13 countries had been extracted from Lebanon by Wednesday night.