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Lebanese Premier: Death Toll Tops 900

By LAUREN FRAYER
The Associated Press
Thursday, August 3, 2006; 4:40 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Lebanon's death toll in more than three weeks of Israel-Hezbollah fighting has reached more than 900, Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said Thursday in a video statement to an Islamic conference in Malaysia.

"Over 900 (have been) killed and 3,000 injured so far, one third of the casualties are children under 12," Saniora told participants at a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Muslim world's largest political group.

He said Israel's offensive on Lebanon "is taking an enormous toll on human life and infrastructure, and has totally ravaged our country and shattered our economy."

Lebanon's death toll was previously thought to be 548 _ including 477 civilians confirmed dead by the Health Ministry, 25 Lebanese soldiers and at least 46 Hezbollah guerrillas.

The health minister had said the number could be as high as 750, including those still buried in rubble or missing.

© 2006 The Associated Press