PZN: “The bombing was just relentless.”
PAULA ZAHN: Even as the diplomats were talking today, at least four people died, and dozens were wounded when Israel's warplanes struck a convoy of Lebanese military and civilian vehicles in the Bekaa Valley.
Michael Ware got there just after it happened. He joins me now on the phone from the Bekaa Valley.
Michael, describe to us what you saw.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paula, what we found was a convoy of mostly civilian vehicles, led by some Lebanese army trucks and jeeps, which had clearly been struck by some kind of airstrike.
From the evidence that we saw, and from speaking to some of the rescue workers and the locals, it appears that this convoy had broken off from the main body of the 1,500 civilian vehicles, who, this evening, were trying to make their way north.
They have been given safe passage in a U.N.-brokered deal to escape the fighting around the besieged city of Marjayoun. When they reached the north, in the Bekaa Valley, there was many bottlenecks and traffic jams. It appears this is one of many that broke off and created a different stream.
When they were hit, the military lead vehicles were struck first. Civilian vehicles behind them then did a U-turn, trying to escape. They, too, were hit. And we have at least four dead and over 20 injured, seven of whom are Lebanese soldiers -- Paula.
ZAHN: I understand that many of the civilians had been trapped there for many weeks. What condition were they in before this strike?
WARE: Listen, Paula, watching this convoy roll out as it was leaving the free-fire zone -- we have been tracking it all day down there in southern Lebanon -- the bombing was just relentless. Even as the convoy was moving, there were bombs falling all about, even with this supposed U.N. safe passage. And, as the vehicles moved up the road, the bombing continued up the road behind them, as if to close it.
When these people came out, they had been trapped in there for weeks and weeks. It was old men, old women, fathers, mothers, little children, all crammed into any vehicle that would move. There were daughters driving old mothers. It really was heartbreaking to see the condition of these people.
As we were heading north with this convoy -- we ourselves traveled with them -- the people here in the villages, as they passed, stepped out onto the street, to clap, to wave, to cheer, to hand out water to the desperate. That's what it was like. It was a stream of these people who were hit -- Paula.
ZAHN: And that's something that we hope to talk to Israeli officials about a little bit later on.
Michael Ware, once again, the pictures graphically showing what Michael is talking about.