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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 13, 2006 01:55 AM

***scroll for updates***


Israeli aircraft attacked Beirut airport and killed 22 civilians in strikes on south Lebanon on Thursday, dramatically widening its reprisals after Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight.

Hizbollah retaliated for “Israeli massacres” by firing 60 rockets at Nahariya. The Israeli army said Katyusha rockets had hit the northern Israeli city and that one civilian was killed.

The violence was the worst between Israel and Lebanon since 1996 when Israeli troops still occupied part of the south. It coincided with an major Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip to retrieve a captured soldier and halt Palestinian rocket fire.

Lebanese security sources said Israeli aircraft fired at least six rockets at runways of Rafik al-Hariri International Airport and a nearby road, forcing flights to divert.

The airport terminal and planes were not hit. It was not immediately clear how badly the raid had damaged the runways.

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed the attack.

Dan Riehl notes Beirut’s TV station has been hit. The full rundown here.

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