Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Sunday she is "deeply saddened by the terrible loss of innocent life," after an attack on a village in southern Lebanon.

But she did not call for an immediate cease-fire in the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militias.

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Rice said she called Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to say she would postpone a visit to Beirut on Sunday, and that she had work to do in Jerusalem to end the fighting.

"We are also pushing for an urgent end to the current hostilities, but the views of the parties on how to achieve this are different," she said.

Israeli missiles hit several homes in the southern Lebanese village of Qana early Sunday. Some 50 people died, according to initial reports. At least 20 bodies wrapped in white sheets were taken away, including children and elderly residents who were attacked while they were sleeping.

"We all recognize this kind of warfare is extremely difficult," she said, noting it comes in areas where civilians live. "It unfortunately has awful consequences sometimes."

"We want a cease-fire as soon as possible," she added.