Lebanon’s Hezbollah says fires rockets at Israel after deadly strike

Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said it fired Katyusha rockets at Israel on Friday in retaliation for strikes, which state media said killed two people in the south of the country.

Israel and Hezbollah have exchanged near-daily cross-border fire following the start of the Gaza war in October.

Hezbollah fighters fired “a salvo of Katyusha rockets” at Israel’s north “in response to the Israeli enemy’s attacks on… civilians, most recently in Tayr Harfa”, the group said in a statement.

In a separate statement, the group also claimed a rocket salvo on an army base in northern Israel, later saying its fighters launched a second attack with “dozens of Katyusha rockets” at troops who were assessing the damage at the base.

Earlier on Friday, Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) said a first responder from a rescue group affiliated with a Hezbollah-allied movement and a telecoms technician were killed “as a result of the Israeli aggression on Tayr Harfa”.

The rescuer belonged to the Risala Scout association, affiliated to the Shia Amal movement, while the technician worked for Power Tec, which undertakes maintenance work for private mobile service provider Touch.

The technician and colleagues from Ogero telecom provider were carrying out “maintenance on the transmission poles”, NNA said, adding they had sought permission from the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, or UNIFIL.

The Risala Scout association, which operates in south Lebanon, said the rescuer was killed when his team went to a location that had come under Israeli bombardment.

“The second strike came quickly, and one of the young men was martyred,” a source from the association told AFP.

A source within Touch said the strike hit a team that had been doing maintenance work in Tayr Haifa.

“We lost communications with them because the station was hit,” the source told AFP, requesting anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

“There were people from our team and from another company that does maintenance work for us, and there were also paramedics.”

At least 402 people have been killed in Lebanon in seven months of cross-border fighting, mostly militants but also including 79 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.

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

Israel’s war on Gaza has so far killed at least 34,943 people, the Palestinian enclave’s health ministry said on Friday.

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