BEIRUT (Reuters) - Rockets fired by Hizbollah guerrillas killed eight people in the Israeli city of Haifa on Sunday and bombs shook Beirut as Israel pursued a five-day-old assault in Lebanon aimed at crippling the Shi'ite Muslim group.
It was Hizbollah's deadliest rocket strike on Israel in at least 10 years and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said it would have "far-reaching" consequences for Lebanon.
Hizbollah said the attack was retaliation for Israel's killing of civilians and destruction of Lebanese infrastructure.
Medics said 20 people were wounded in Haifa, Israel's third-largest city, which was hit by about 20 rockets, including one that struck a railway station causing most of the casualties. Blood was smeared on smashed train compartments.
Israel's campaign in Lebanon, launched after Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight on Wednesday, has drawn only a mild plea for restraint from the United States, which blames Hizbollah and its allies, Syria and Iran.
President Bush, speaking at a G8 summit in Russia, characterized Israel's actions as self-defence and did not back Lebanon's pleas for an immediate ceasefire.
"Our message to Israel is defend yourself but be mindful of the consequences, so we are urging restraint," said Bush.
Bombs crashed into Beirut's Shi'ite southern suburbs in raids which set fire to Hizbollah's al-Manar television complex and nearby buildings, witnesses said. The station's signal disappeared briefly several times before returning.
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While President Bush has been trading barbs with Putin at the G8 summit, Lebanon has been pleading and begging for a ceasefire, and so far that request has fallen on deaf ears or those who could care less. Rockets continue to fall on northern Israeli cities such as Haifa bringing death to the people; meanwhile the Lebanese government has done nothing to stem the flow of terrorists and weapons coming through its own country with the direction of Iran and Syria. Iran cannot be trusted and neither can Syria, they both want the destruction of Israel and the rule of Islam to cover the land and those who do not submit, they will kill ruthlessly. Now Americans in this shithole of a country have to fear for there lives and possibly have to evacuate there homes. We cannot stand and let this violence go unchecked, unhinged, unfettered any longer, Israel has taken up the fight and we must stand beside her and show the world that we and our allies that we cannot and will not be intimidated by smelly savages in sheets. The Israeli military is an effective tool and presence in the Middle East, and I’m sure will be used to eradicate all of those who wish for the destruction of the Jewish State and all of her inhabitants. Iran has entered this war and it’s very obvious that they need an effective display of the massive firepower we can bring to bear upon them. They need to be reminded that when you fuck with America, America will fuck with you, and in the case of terrorists, they can meet there fate at the end of a 500 pound bomb.