Rasha Zayoun thought the worst of last year's war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas was over when a ceasefire halted 34 days of fierce Israeli bombardment of south Lebanon. She was wrong. A few months ago, Zayoun (16) was sitting at home in the southern village of Maarake picking out thyme leaves from a bag her father had brought, when her finger caught on a ribbon attached to a cluster bomblet.
An uneasy calm settled over a Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon on Friday after the Lebanese army declared victory in 33 days of fighting against al-Qaeda-inspired militants. The battle for Nahr al-Bared camp in which 172 people were killed was Lebanon's worst outbreak of internal violence since a 1975 to 1990 civil war.
The United Nations accused Iraq on Wednesday of withholding sensitive civilian casualty figures because it fears they would be used to paint a ''very grim'' picture of a worsening humanitarian crisis. Violence continued as a suicide attacker walked into a police station in volatile Diyala province and detonated a bomb, killing nine, police said.
Eleven people were killed and about 20 wounded in two bomb blasts that wrecked minibuses near the Christian mountain town of Bikfaya north of Beirut on Tuesday. The attacks on the public buses occurred a day before the second anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.
Lebanese troops deployed in south Lebanon on Thursday, linking up with United Nations peacekeepers to take control of Hezbollah strongholds as Israeli forces pulled back after their 34-day war with the guerrillas. Hezbollah fighters melted away as the troops crossed the Litani River, about 20km from the Israeli border, to take over a region the army has not controlled for decades.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Cabinet on Sunday approved a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, a political source said. However, both Israel and Hezbollah showed little inclination to stop fighting ahead of Monday's proposed truce. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had said the prime ministers of Israel and Lebanon agreed fighting would end on Monday.
The United Nations said Israeli and Lebanese leaders had agreed a ceasefire that will take effect on Monday to end the month-old war, but fighting raged on Sunday as Israeli forces met fierce resistance from Hezbollah guerrillas. Israeli aircraft also launched scores of strikes on more than 50 villages and towns across Lebanon on Sunday.