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August 13, 2006 3:00 AM

Ahead of truce, Israel and Hezbollah show their strength

Israeli forces bombed Beirut and fought ground battles in a race to take turf in south Lebanon on Sunday while Hezbollah fired its biggest one-day fusillade of rockets into northern Israel in an offensive frenzy ahead of a U.N.-brokered cease-fire meant to silence the month-old war soon after dawn Monday. The weekend warfare was Israels bloodiest of the month-old campaign. At least 29 soldiers were killed, among them the 20-year-old son of acclaimed Israeli author David Grossman who had publicly opposed the offensive, and the first Israeli woman soldier to die in this Lebanon conflict, a mechanic aboard a helicopter shot down by Hezbollah.

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