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Hizbollah says fighters killed after Israeli strike on south Lebanon

By AFP - May 10,2024 - Last updated at May 10,2024

Smoke billows from the site of an Israeli airstrike on the southern Lebanese village of Khiam near the border on Wednesday (AFP photo)

BEIRUT — A Lebanese security source said an Israeli strike on Thursday killed four Hizbollah members, with the Iran-backed group announcing three dead and a drone attack in retaliation, as cross-border hostilities intensify.

Lebanon's powerful Hizbollah movement began attacking Israel in support of ally Hamas a day after the Palestinian fighter group's unprecedented October 7 surprise attack on Israel that sparked war in the Gaza Strip.

The Lebanese security source, requesting anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media, said that "four Hizbollah fighters were killed in an Israeli drone strike on their vehicle" in south Lebanon's Bafliyeh village, about 15 kilometres from the frontier.

Lebanon's civil defence reported "four martyrs" in an "Israeli air strike" on the main road in Bafliyeh, adding that teams worked to put out the fire that broke out in the vehicle.

Hizbollah later said in separate statements that three of its fighters had been killed, and that it launched "an air attack with explosive drones" targeting an Israeli military base and its vicinity in retaliation.

The group also claimed several other attacks on Israeli positions and troops across the border on Thursday.

The Israeli army said “fighter jets and the Aerial Defence Array successfully intercepted two UAVs [drones] in Lebanese territory”.

It said “several launches were identified crossing from Lebanon”, adding that the military “struck in order to remove a threat in several locations”.

Fighter jets hit “Hizbollah terrorist infrastructure and a military structure” in the Aita Al-Shaab area, it added.

The Iran-backed Shiite Muslim movement has stepped up its attacks in recent weeks, while Israel’s military has struck deeper into Lebanese territory.

At least 399 people have been killed in Lebanon in seven months of cross-border violence, mostly militants but also including more than 70 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says 14 soldiers and nine civilians have been killed on its side of the border. Three of the soldiers were killed this week, one of them on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, Hizbollah said two of its fighters had been killed, while Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said three of its own combatants died on the Lebanon-Israel border.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced on both sides.

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