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Source close to Hizbollah says Israeli strike kills member in east Lebanon

By AFP - Jul 07,2024 - Last updated at Jul 07,2024

Smoke billows after a hit from a rocket fired from southern Lebanon over the Upper Galilee region in northern Israel on Thursday. Lebanon's Hizbollah said it launched more than 200 rockets and explosive drones at Israeli military positions on July 4 as tensions have soared amid the almost nine-months-old war raging in Gaza (AFP photo)

BEIRUT, Lebanon — A source close to Hizbollah said an Israeli drone strike targeted a vehicle in eastern Lebanon Saturday, killing an official from the Iran-backed group, with tensions high between the foes.

Hizbollah has traded near daily fire with the Israeli army across Lebanon's southern border since its Palestinian ally Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, triggering the war in Gaza.

"A local Hizbollah official" was killed in an "Israeli drone" strike on a vehicle near the eastern city of Baalbek, the source close to the group said, requesting anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Lebanon's official National News Agency reported one person was killed when an "enemy drone" targeted a vehicle in the Shaat area, around 15 kilometres north of Baalbek.

The area is around 100 kilometres from Lebanon’s southern border with Israel.

Recent Israeli strikes in south Lebanon have killed two senior Hizbollah commanders — one of them this week — with the Shiite Muslim movement raining rockets on northern Israel in response.

The cross-border exchanges of fire have largely been restricted to the south Lebanon-north Israel border area, although Israel has repeatedly struck deep inside eastern Lebanon.

Hizbollah earlier Saturday claimed several attacks on Israeli positions near the southern border, including one with “explosive drones” that it said came in response to “Israeli enemy attacks” on south Lebanon villages.

Hizbollah says it is acting in support of Gazans and Hamas with its attacks, which began on October 8, with the escalating violence raising fears of all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah, which last went to war in 2006.

The cross-border exchanges have killed at least 497 people in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also including 95 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israeli authorities say at least 16 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed on their side of the border.

 

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