Four fighters of the terrorist group Hezbollah died overnight in southern Lebanon, the Iran-backed movement announced Thursday, in what Lebanese state media said were Israeli attacks on the border town of Naqura.
The deaths, which according to a source close to the powerful militant group include a local Hezbollah leadercome after an attack on Beirut this week killed a senior Hamas leader, raising regional tensions as the war escalates in Gaza.
Hezbollah said in a statement that the four fighters had died “on the road to Jerusalem.”a phrase it has been using to announce its members’ casualties from Israeli fire since fighting between Israel and Hamas began on October 7.
The group did not provide further details, but a source close to Hezbollah told AFP that the four died in Naqurah, near the Israeli border, adding that one of them was the local leader of the movement.
The Lebanese National News Agency indicated that the Israeli aviation “carried out raids on the center of Naqurawhich destroyed a home and damaged surrounding houses.”
Later, the Israeli military also said that a fighter jet attacked an observation position and a military site in Hezbollah in Maroun el-Ras, south of Lebanon. Shortly after the attack, troops hit an anti-tank missile squadron in the area, said the IDF, which posted video of the attack online.
During the night, according to the IDF, troops also launched mortars “to eliminate a threat” in the area of the town of Rab el-Thalathinein southern Lebanon.
This morning, Hezbollah fired several projectiles into northern Israel, near Shtula, Arab al-Aramshe, Manara and Metula. The IDF reports no injuries in the attacks.
Hezbollah has exchanged fire almost daily with Israeli forces since October 8a day after Hamas attacks triggered an intense Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian armed group, also supported by Iran, in the Gaza Strip.
The Lebanese group announced on Wednesday the deaths of five more fighters in southern Lebanon.
Nearly three months of cross-border fire has left 175 dead in Lebanonamong them 129 Hezbollah fightersbut also more than 20 civilians, including three journalists, according to a count of AFP.
In the north of Israel, where Hezbollah has mainly attacked military positions near the border, they have been killed nine soldiers and five civiliansaccording to Israeli authorities.
On Tuesday, One attack killed deputy Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri and six others in a Hezbollah stronghold south of Beirut.
A US defense official told the AFP that Israel was behind the attack.
Arouri is the highest-ranking Hamas figure killed during the warand his death came in the first attack on the Lebanese capital since hostilities began.
The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, warned Israel on Wednesday in a speech against starting a war in Lebanonensuring that his movement would fight “without limits.”
Several Hamas figures in exile reside in Lebanon, under the protection of Hezbollah.
Israel vowed to “destroy” Hamas following the unprecedented attack on October 7, which left some 1,140 dead in Israel, according to an AFP count based on official figures.
The Israeli offensive on Gaza has killed 22,313 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-ruled territory’s Health Ministry.
(With information from AFP)