Israeli strikes in Lebanon kill 5 fighters from Hezbollah, ally

A view shows part of a damaged building that was hit late on February 14 by what security sources said was an Israeli strike in Nabatieh, southern Lebanon February 16, 2024.
| Photo Credit: REUTERS

Israeli strikes on targets in south Lebanon killed five fighters from Hezbollah and the allied Amal movement, the groups said on Friday, adding to an uptick in violence causing international alarm.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency (NNA) said Israeli warplanes hit five villages in southern Lebanon overnight Thursday-Friday.

A strike on one house in Al-Qantara village killed three members of the Shiite Islam Amal movement led by parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, the movement said.

Hezbollah, the powerful Iran-backed Shiite movement, separately announced the death of two of its fighters, bringing to 12 the number killed since Wednesday.

Hamas ally Hezbollah and its arch-foe Israel have been exchanging near-daily fire across the border since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on October 7.

But the United Nations secretary-general’s spokesman called on Wednesday for a halt to dangerous “recent escalation”, which also sparked concern from the United States.

Wednesday was the bloodiest day in more than four months of cross-border exchanges, with 10 civilians and five Hezbollah members including a commander killed.

Hezbollah said it retaliated on Thursday by firing dozens of rockets into northern Israel.

The Israeli army said it carried out Wednesday’s strikes after rocket fire from Lebanon killed a soldier.

The cross-border exchanges have killed at least 268 people on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also 40 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

On the Israeli side, 10 soldiers and six civilians have been killed, according to the Israeli army.

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