Reports: Israeli ground troops on the move

January 12, 2009 6:17:02 PM PST
Israeli troops are on the move. Gaza residents say the soldiers are advancing into the city's bomb ravaged suburbs for the first time. Sounds of the battle could be clearly heard early Tuesday around the city of 400,0000 as the Israeli forces, backed by artillery and attack helicopters, moved into neighborhoods east and south of Gaza City, as Israeli gunboats shelled the coast from the west.

The Palestinian residents told The Associated Press the fighting left several buildings and structures in flames, including a lumberyard and thick smoke blanketed the area.

The Israeli military confirmed that a battle was in progress.