TYRE – A baby was sliced into three and body parts hung from olive trees as the full force of Israeli military might hit rural southern Lebanon Thursday.
In the deadliest Israeli strikes in a decade, at least 39 people were killed.

As the south came under a relentless air assault that destroyed vital bridges linking one area to another, ordinary life came to a standstill as terror-stricken residents hid indoors and businesses remained closed.

The silence that reigned over southern Lebanon was broken only by the sounds of violence and its aftermath — bomb blasts and the wail of ambulance sirens.

Israel’s offensive, prompted by the capture of two of its soldiers by the militant group Hezbollah in a bid to secure a swap of prisoners, was the most serious since it ended 22 years of occupation in southern Lebanon in 2000.

On a charred mattress rest the remains of a burned baby girl, her arm to one side. Her upper body is at one end of the bed and her lower body at the other.

Police said the 10-month-old and six other family members were killed when an Israeli missile hit their home in the usually quiet village of Baflay, near the coastal city of Tyre.

The baby, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to a hospital morgue in Tyre. Her body has not yet been claimed by relatives.


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