One air strike killed at least 10 people in the coastal city of Tyre on Sunday evening. Another raid destroyed several houses near the Israeli border and killed at least 16 civilians.

The latest deaths mean that Israel's offensive against Hezbollah and Lebanon has killed at least 130 people since Wednesday.
 
Most of the civilian victims of today's attacks died when their homes were struck by Israeli bombs or missiles, Lebanese police said.

Escalation

Earlier Hezbollah killed eight Israeli civilians and wounded a dozen more when it fired 20 long-range missiles at Israel's northern city of Haifa on Sunday morning.

Following the attack, Israel warned Lebanese civilians to evacuate the border areas, saying that it would take unilateral military action to stop Hezbollah from carrying out more rocket attacks.

"We asked people in seven villages to evacuate the villages for their own safety since we will be operating in those areas," said an Israeli army spokesman.

Smoke rises from Haifa after a Hezbollah rocket attack

A few hours after issuing the warning, Israeli warplanes struck at several Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon.

Afterwards, in the village of Aabba, near Nabatiyeh, around 70 km (40 miles) south of the capital, eight bodies were extracted from the debris of two joining houses.

Rescue workers said efforts to reach the other bodies were hampered by ongoing bombing raids in the area.

In Nabatiyeh Israeli helicopters destroyed a two-storey house, killing three people and wounding 11 others, including three young children, police said.

Four civilians were killed and 10 others hurt when their home in the village of Burj Shemali was also hit.

Israel's strategy

Hezbollah's television station al-Manar shows a new rocket

Israel's minister for internal security, Avi Dichter said the raids aimed to put pressure on Lebanon's government to act against Hezbollah.

"Tens of thousands of Lebanese who will flee towards the north will create the right pressure on Hezbollah," Dichter told ministers during Israel's weekly cabinet meeting, AFP reported.

The latest air strikes come after five days of Israeli attacks against Lebanese infrastructure including bridges, roads and the country's only international airport in Beirut.

The Israeli army has also said that its special forces are operating on the ground in Lebanon, in conjunction with air and sea forces.