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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:54, July 17, 2006
UN envoy voices support for Lebanese gov't call for ceasefire
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UN envoy Vijay Nambiar on Sunday voiced support for the Lebanese government's call for a ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel to end an escalating conflict triggered by the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Lebanon's Hizbollah militia.

Nambiar, head of a UN special team sent to Lebanon on a mission to defuse the current Lebanon-Israel crisis, told reporters, "The UN supports the Lebanese government and the prime minister ... and supports the call for a ceasefire."

In addition, the UN envoy also called for the release of the two Israeli soldiers taken hostage by Hizbollah as "part of the solution to this conflict."

Nambiar also urged the protection of the civilians and civilian infrastructure.

The UN team also includes UN Mideast envoy Alvaro de Soto and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen who held talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Sunday night.

Siniora urged the UN on Saturday to mediate between the two sides toward a ceasefire deal and an end to the crisis through diplomatic means.

Over 100 Lebanese, most of them civilians, have been killed and hundreds more injured in Israeli attacks since Israel launched a massive assault in Lebanon after Hizbollah militia kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and killed eight during cross-border clashes on Wednesday.

Lebanon has been under an Israeli air, land and sea blockade since then as Israeli warplanes repeatedly pounded Beirut's airport and the main highway linking Beirut and Damascus and the Israeli navy sealed the Lebanese sea ports.

Hizbollah showered Israel with rockets, killing eight Israelis and wounding dozens more in the northern Israeli city of Haifa earlier on Sunday.

Source: Xinhua

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