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Source close to Hizbollah says 4 dead in Israeli strikes on Lebanon

By AFP - May 21,2024 - Last updated at May 21,2024

Smoke billows from the site of an Israeli air strike on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese village of Ramiah on Saturday (AFP photo)

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

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

The source close to Hizbollah told AFP that "at least four Hizbollah 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.

A Hizbollah fighter was also killed on Monday in a strike in neighbouring Syria blamed on Israel, a separate source from the group told AFP.

The Shiite Muslim movement said five of its fighters, including two from Naqura, had been killed, without providing details on where or when they had died.

The Israeli military said fighter jets struck “a Hizbollah 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.

Hizbollah 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 Hizbollah-affiliated rescue personnel and wounded a civilian.

The fighting has killed at least 425 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 Hizbollah and Israel, which went to war in 2006.

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