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thedrifter
04-28-06, 08:22 AM
Hezbollah children remember Qana bombing
AFP

About 2,000 children marched through the streets of Beirut armed with fake rockets in a rally organised by Hezbollah to mark the anniversary of a deadly Israeli bombardment 10 years ago.

Rows of boys wearing military fatigues and red berets marched with mock Katyushas resting on their shoulders in memory of the Israeli bombing of a UN base in Qana in southern Lebanon on April 18, 1996 that killed 105 people.

Girls in white head-to-toe chadors carried effigies of blood-stained white doves bearing the names of several southern villages where civilians have been killed in Israeli shellings over the past decade.

Lebanese civilians had taken refugee at the UN base in Qana during Israel's "Grapes of Wrath" offensive aimed at wiping out the Shiite fundamentalist Hezbollah movement and stopping strikes on its territory.

Israel said the bombing was a mistake but a UN report concluded it was probably deliberate.

"Removing the arms of the resistance is removing the strength of Lebanon," read one placard carried by the children, referring to a 2004 UN Security Council Resolution which calls for the disarmament of all militias in Lebanon.

Israel pulled its troops out of southern Lebanon in May 2000 after a 22-year occupation in the face of a guerrilla campaign by the Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah.

The group remains the only Lebanese movement with an armed wing in defiance of the terms ending Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war. It is considered a terrorist organisation by the United States, which blames it for the bombing of the US marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 that left 241 US marines dead.

Ellie