Michael Ware


TSR: “...absolute devastation.”

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Length: 2:27

WOLF BLITZER: Let's bring in Michael Ware, our reporter; he's joining us on the phone. Michael, you were there, you eye witnessed a dramatic development today, a very poignant scene involving a convoy, a lot of cars trying to flee the fighting. What happened?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Well, Wolf, these were civilians being led out by the Lebanese army from one of the hottest battle zones we've seen so far in southern Lebanon, a township known as Marajyoun. They had -- the Lebanese government had asked the U.N. to broker safe passage for this convoy to leave the free-fire zone in the country's south. According to the U.N. and Lebanese government officials this was agreed to.

After several delays 1,500 civilian vehicles, according to the Lebanese Red Cross, were led out by an attachment of the Lebanese army. Around dusk they reached the safer zones here in southern Lebanon, and they continued north, but there were many logjams and traffic jams and choke points, so many of the cars started breaking off and making their own way. One of these elements, according to Lebanese security sources, came up the road that are now sheltering nearby.

As it was approaching the town of Kasyr (ph), it was struck by an Israeli air strike of some kind. We now have Lebanese security sources or security officials telling us there were four killed and as many as 18 wounded. Among those were seven Lebanese soldiers. Looking at the scene, it's one of absolute devastation, Wolf. It's clear that the first strike was on the lead military vehicles as they approached the Lebanese army checkpoint.

What then appears to have happened is many of the civilians in the rear had turned their vehicles around in a u-turn to speed away from the explosions, and they had been hit by another air strike. So here it appears on the ground from what officials are telling us that some of these civilians who are under Lebanese army escort during a U.N. brokered safe passage to escape the fighting have been hit by an air strike -- Wolf.

BLITZER: We're going to continue to watch this story with you. Michael Ware reporting from the scene.