Hezbollah source says local chief among 4 killed by Israel

AFP , Thursday 4 Jan 2024

Four Hezbollah fighters were killed overnight in southern Lebanon, the Lebanese movement announced Thursday, in Israeli strikes on the border town of Naqura.

A picture taken from northern Israel shows smoke billowing from across the border in south Lebanon on January 3, 2024. AFP


The deaths, which according to a source close to the powerful group include a local Hezbollah leader, follow a strike in Beirut this week that killed a senior Hamas leader, raising regional tensions as war rages in Gaza.

Hezbollah said in a statement the four fighters had been killed "on the road to Jerusalem" -- a phrase it has been using to announce the deaths of its members due to Israeli fire since the Israeli war on Gaza started on October 7.

The group did not elaborate, but a source close to Hezbollah told AFP that the four were killed in Naqura near the Israeli border, adding that one of them was the movement's local leader.

Lebanon's official National News Agency said Israeli aircraft "carried out raids on the centre of Naqura, which destroyed a home and damaged surrounding houses".

Hezbollah has exchanged near-daily fire with Israeli forces since October 8, the day after Israel launched its aggression on Gaza.

The Lebanese group on Wednesday announced the deaths of five other fighters in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel in a speech on Wednesday against starting a war in Lebanon, assuring that his movement would fight "without limits".

Nearly three months of cross-border fire have left 175 people in Lebanon dead, including 129 Hezbollah fighters, but also more than 20 civilians including three journalists, according to an AFP tally.

In northern Israel, where Hezbollah has primarily targeted military positions near the border, nine soldiers and five civilians have been killed, according to Israeli authorities.

On Tuesday a strike killed Hamas's deputy leader, Saleh al-Aruri, and six others in a southern Beirut stronghold of Hezbollah. A US defence official told AFP Israel was behind the attack.


Short link: