From a 10th-floor balcony, Pilar Saad watched as Israeli missiles cut through the sky, striking the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon.
The air was smoky from huge fires burning, the power out in some regions.
At 10 p.m. Thursday from Beirut, Saad, of Tampa, gave the account over a land-line telephone. She was to fly out of Beirut International Airport on July 23, but parts of that airport are in flames.
"Without a doubt, the casualties will increase," she said. "All the people are in basement shelters. They are terrified. Kids are crying and scared and fear for their safety. This has to stop. We are the victims of state terrorism." . . .
Ahmed Bedier, local spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, interviewed Pilar Saad on local radio station WMNF, 88.5 FM, on Thursday. Bedier spoke to Saad for 25 minutes about the escalation.
"The sentiment is the [Israeli] reaction is disproportionate," Bedier said. "There is a great deal of concern for civilians."