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UN Force Facilitates Lebanon Relief Aid Deliveries

Amid Heavy Fighting in Lebanon, UN Force Works to Facilitate Relief Aid Deliveries

New York, Aug 7 2006 11:00AM

With high-intensity exchanges of fire continuing throughout southern Lebanon, the United Nations Interim Force in the country (UNIFIL) today reported that it is working to restore a humanitarian supply route used for delivering aid to the population of the area, where hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes.

UNFIL reported that over the past 24 hours, Hizbollah fired rockets “in large numbers from various locations” while the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) “continued shelling and aerial bombardment across the south.”

Israeli air strikes this morning destroyed a provisional bridge over the Litani river on the coastal road north of Tyre, UNFIL said. The original bridge had previously been destroyed by Israeli air strikes at the beginning of hostilities.

This action effectively cut off road communication from Tyre to Saida and Beirut. “In coordination with the Lebanese authorities, UNIFIL is trying to ensure with the IDF the reopening of the road by putting up another provisional bridge in that area, especially for humanitarian purposes,” the mission said in a news release issued in Naqoura.

The Force also reported two incidents of firing close to a UNIFIL position by Hizbollah in the area of Hula. In another incident yesterday, two missiles from an unknown source impacted in the vicinity of a UNIFIL logistic convoy in El Addaisseh. This morning, Hizbollah fired rockets from the vicinity of the UN position in Tibnin, and the IAF carried out air strikes on the areas from which the fire originated.

There were no injuries or damage to UNIFIL property, but the Force “strongly protested all these incidents to the Lebanese and Israeli authorities respectively.”

The UNIFIL search team rescued one civilian from a collapsed building in Naqoura yesterday. He received initial treatment at the UNIFIL hospital, and was evacuated to the hospital in Tyre. The UNIFIL search and rescue team recovered the remains of three people in the building, and handed them over to the next of kin.

The mission also provided water to the village of Ibil as Saqi, and medical assistance to the internally displaced people in the village. In addition, it transported a generator from Khiyam to Ibil as Saqi to restore water pumping. A UNIFIL team escorted and assisted municipality workers to repair and restore the power supply to Marjayoun.

The IDF handed over to UNIFIL two Lebanese civilians and one Sudanese national bearing a Lebanese working permit at the Ras Naqoura crossing yesterday. UNIFIL transferred them to the Lebanese authorities, who helped to coordinate the move.


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