TSR: “A scene of unbelievable carnage”
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Let's go to Michael Ware. He's in Beirut. He's in Lebanon, actually, on the phone. He's joining us with an updated report on the scene of this alleged convoy attack.
For our viewers just tuning in, Michael, tell us what you know firsthand, what you've seen and what you've heard, based on your reporting.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Wolf.
I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that question. I'm on the scene as we speak. It is a scene of unbelievable carnage.
There's at least five, perhaps more, cars that have been absolutely destroyed. We're told that there's at least three, as many as four dead, up to 17 or 18 have been wounded. Seven of whom are military officers who were escorting this convoy. They were trying to leave the Bekaa Valley, up a road that leads into the Cedar Mountains, back to Beirut, when they were hit.
It's clear that the front of the convoy was hit first, and then other cars in panic turned to try to escape when they were hit. It is an unbelievable scene here, Wolf. It is appalling.
BLITZER: And where exactly -- I assume you can tell us, where are you now? Where are all of these people who were in the convoy?
WARE: They've been evacuated. The dead and the wounded have been rushed to hospital.
As we approached the scene here in Capria (ph), which is just west of the main Bekaa Valley center of Jab Janin (ph), we were passed only by racing ambulances. When we arrived upon the scene, there were still some rescue workers here retrieving bodies and taking people out of the destroyed vehicles. However, an Israeli drone has now appeared overhead, and you can hear it buzzing. So the military ordered an evacuation of all of those who can get out--Yeah?!--ordered an evacuation of all those here for fear of another attack. We're now running away from the scene just in case there's another strike.
The Lebanese security officials report that there was as many as eight missiles; however, that's not yet confirmed. What is confirmed is that there is a significant amount of destruction that has been done to a vehicle convoy.
After they left the battlefield of Marjayoun, they proceeded north, 1,500 vehicles full of civilians, according to Red Cross workers I spoke to at the scene. We've been tracking this convoy since its initiation this morning.
We were there as it was leaving the free-fire zone. It was full of civilians -- men, women, children -- crammed into any vehicle that would move.
They were in a desperate state. Many of them looked wretched after weeks of being besieged and bombed.
Once they passed a certain point north, these 1,500 vehicles started breaking up and heading in different directions, all bound for Beirut. This road is one of the roads that leads from the Bekaa Valley, over the mountains, into Beirut. However, we're told that it had been bombed some weeks ago and is impassable. It appears that the civilians in this convoy and the military who were with them may not have known that.
At any rate, there has been a strike of some kind on one of the civilian convoys exiting the field of Marjayoun under a U.N. - brokered deal that provided them a safe corridor -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Michael, I'm going to let you catch your breath. I want to stay with you, and we're going to come back to you, because this is a very, very important story.
Michael Ware on the scene for us, describing what is a potentially very significant development in this war between Israel and Hezbollah, this huge convoy trying to escape some of the fighting.
Michael, stand by. We're going to be coming back to you for that.
BRENT SADLER, CNN BEIRUT BUREAU CHIEF: Now, just to update you for a brief moment, Wolf, on that developing story in the Bekaa Valley that Michael Ware was reporting a short time ago, Lebanese security sources now telling CNN that four people have been killed and as many as 40 people injured. One of the four dead confirmed to be a Lebanese army soldier, part of that convoy that was trying to get out of the fighting area, was evacuating more than a thousand vehicles out of the danger zone that came under Israeli attack -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And there's no indication -- we're not getting any word yet on if there were any Hezbollah military personnel or equipment anywhere near this convoy. Is that the sense you're getting?
SADLER: Well, it started out, this convoy -- and we have pictures of it fed out earlier today -- as a convoy that was being moved out of Marjayoun, which is where Israeli and Hezbollah forces have been engaged in fierce combat over the past few days. It was a brokered movement between the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces, and the United Nations peacekeepers in the south.
So, initially, when it left Marjayoun, it did have cover under the U.N. flag. But part of the way out, several kilometers outside of the Marjayoun district, the convoy split.
The United Nations peacekeepers left the Lebanese army to head to Zakle (ph), which is a town in the Bekaa Valley. However, before it got there, the vehicle convoy had been added to by several hundred vehicles.
Michael Ware saying 1,500 vehicles, according to Red Cross officials on the ground. And there is a possibility, of course, that Israel could have expected or acted on intelligence that perhaps Hezbollah fighters, operatives or others were being smuggled out of the danger zone at that time.
It's too early to confirm that, Wolf. But that must be a suspicion that the Israelis may well use to justify what's going on right now in the Bekaa -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Thank you very much for that, Brent Sadler, in Beirut.