4 dead in Israeli strikes on Lebanon: Source close to Hezbollah

AFP , Monday 20 May 2024

A source close to Hezbollah said four fighters were killed Monday in south Lebanon, with the Iran-backed group announcing two dead and a retaliatory attack, while Israel claimed strikes.

Lebanese soldiers, an ambulance and civilians gather near the site of Israeli bombardment in the vil
Lebanese soldiers, an ambulance and civilians gather near the site of Israeli bombardment in the village of Aaqbiyeh on May 17, 2024, in southern Lebanon near the border with Israel. AFP


Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, has traded near daily cross-border fire with Israeli forces since the Palestinian group's October 7 attack on southern Israel that sparked the current Israeli war on Gaza.

A source close to Hezbollah told AFP that "at least four Hezbollah fighters were killed in Israeli raids on two different sites in southern Lebanon", identifying the locations as Naqura on the coast and Mais al-Jabal, a border village to the east.

The Shia Muslim movement said two of its fighters, both from Naqura, had been killed, without providing further details.

The Israeli military said fighter jets struck "a Hezbollah terrorist cell" and a launch post in the Mais al-Jabal area, while Israeli army "artillery fired to remove a threat" in the Naqura area.

Hezbollah said it launched a heavy rocket attack at an Israeli army barracks in the country's north "in retaliation" for the Naqura strike, while also announcing other attacks on Israeli positions.

Lebanon's official National News Agency (NNA) reported Israeli strikes on Mais al-Jabal and Naqura, where it said Israel fired near Hezbollah-affiliated rescue personnel and wounded a civilian.

The fighting has killed at least 423 people in Lebanon, mostly militants but also including 82 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says 14 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed on its side of the border.

The violence has raised fears of all-out conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, which went to war in 2006.

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