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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Latest developments in the Middle East

Aug 16 (Reuters) - Here are developments on the 36th day of the Middle East crisis.

* Truce between Hizbollah and Israel enters third day.

* Israel preparing to withdraw more troops from south Lebanon but says pullout will stop if the Lebanese army fails to deploy south of the Litani river in days.

* Lebanese cabinet meets to approve deployment of 15,000 troops south of Litani River.

* Hizbollah says idea of it disraming "not on the table", particulraly with Israeli troops still in south Lebanon.

* United Nations wants to deploy up to 3,500 soldiers within two weeks. Indonesia says it is prepared to send 1,000 troops, Germany says it will decide whether to send troops next week. Turkey also expected to send troops.

* Israel prepared to keep troops in south Lebanon for months if it takes that long for international force to deploy, army chief quoted as telling parliamentary committee.

* Workers dig mass grave near southern city of Tyre to bury up to 126 unclaimed bodies.

* French foreign minister due in Beirut to discuss the force's deployment, reopening of ports and airport, and aid.

* French military planning team due to meet U.N. officials; Israeli foreign minister due to meet Annan.

* Arab foreign ministers to meet in Cairo on Sunday to discuss post-war situation.

* Majority of Israelis want defence minister Peretz to resign and commission set up to investigate Israel's conduct in the conflict, polls show.

* Two tankers carrying fuel due in Lebanon to help ease shortages.

* Since truce, estimated 200,000 Lebanese have headed home to battered villages in the south.

* At least 1,110 people in Lebanon and 157 Israelis killed in conflict.
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