Three dead in Israeli strikes on south Lebanon

Two Israeli raids on Sunday killed three people in south Lebanon, official media and a source close to Hezbollah said, as Israel’s military claimed attacks targeting the Iran-backed militant group.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, has traded regular cross-border fire with Israel since the beginning of its war on Gaza.

Lebanon’s official National News Agency (NNA) reported “two martyrs and wounded civilians in the raid that targeted a motorcycle in Aita al-Shaab”, a border village.

It said the strike was carried out by an “Israeli” drone.

The NNA had earlier said a separate strike by “enemy aircraft” on the border town of Naqura “targeted a motorbike”, reporting unspecified casualties.

The Israeli army later said in a statement that “a Hezbollah terrorist was identified exiting a military structure” in the Naqura area, adding that “an aircraft struck and eliminated” the operative.

It also said the army struck “two Hezbollah terrorists who were identified operating” in the Aita al-Shaab area.

Hezbollah announced a fighter had been killed, and a source close to the group said he died in Naqura.

The powerful Shia Muslim movement claimed several attacks on northern Israel on Sunday, including one on a military position, “as part of the response to the assassination which was carried out by the Zionist (Israeli) enemy in Naqura and the wounding of civilians”.

In recent weeks Hezbollah has stepped up its cross-border attacks, which it says are in support of Gazans and its ally Hamas, while Israel has struck deeper into Lebanese territory.

The violence has killed at least 436 people in Lebanon, mostly militants but also including 82 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says 14 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed on its side of the border.

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