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Lebanon media says 2 dead in fresh Israeli strikes on east

By AFP - Mar 27,2024 - Last updated at Mar 27,2024

People and members of the Lebanese NGO Emergency and Relief Corps carry the body of one of the victims killed during overnight Israeli bombardment, during the funeral in the village of Habariyeh in southern Lebanon, on Wednesday (AFP photo)

BEIRUT — Fresh Israeli strikes on eastern Lebanon on Tuesday killed two people, Lebanese official media said, after the deepest raid since cross-border hostilities erupted between Israel and Hizbollah last October.

The Israeli forces said it had struck Hizbollah targets "deep inside Lebanese territory" near Zboud, some 130 kilometres from the Israeli frontier.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency (NNA) said "an Israeli strike targeted the Wadi Faara region" near the north-eastern city of Hermel, a similar location to the one reported by Israel.

Israeli forces have exchanged near-daily fire with Shiite Muslim movement Hizbollah following the outbreak of conflict between Israel and Hamas after the Gaza-based fighters' October 7 sudden attack on Israel.

Hizbollah says it is acting in support of its ally Hamas, while Israel has also targeted Hizbollah and Hamas officials in Lebanon, including with strikes deep into the country.

An AFP correspondent said that, after the raid around Wadi Faara, the army and Hizbollah had blocked access to the area.

A Lebanese security source, requesting anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media, said the strikes targeted an uninhabited area where Hizbollah has positions.

The NNA later reported that a separate "Israeli strike" near Iaat, close to the eastern city of Baalbek, killed two people and wounded another.

In recent days, Israeli strikes have targeted the Bekaa Valley, a Hizbollah bastion deep inside Lebanese territory, where Baalbek and Iaat are located.

An AFP correspondent saw a building belonging to Hizbollah in flames and two people being taken away on stretchers, with a number of ambulances rushing to the scene.

The Israeli military said its "fighter jets struck a landing area and several military structures inside a military compound used by Hizbollah's aerial unit" at two separate sites "deep inside Lebanese territory".

One of the raids came in response to an attack on the army’s “aerial control unit” in northern Israel earlier on Tuesday, the military said.

It also said that it struck Hizbollah targets in south Lebanon near the border.

Hizbollah later said three of its fighters were “martyred on the road to Jerusalem”, the phrase it uses to refer to members killed by Israeli fire, without specifying where or when they died.

The group in separate statements claimed a string of attacks on Israeli targets on Tuesday, including one with guided missiles it said targeted the Meron air control base in northern Israel.

It also said it fired “more than 50 Katyusha rockets” towards a barracks in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Since the cross-border hostilities began, at least 331 people have been killed in Lebanon, most of them Hizbollah fighters but including at least 57 civilians, according to an AFP count.

At least 10 soldiers and seven civilians have been killed in northern Israel, according to the military.

The hostilities have raised fears of all-out conflict between Israel and Hizbollah, which last went to war in 2006.


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