Source close to Hezbollah says Israeli strike kills member in Lebanon

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A source close to Hezbollah 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.

Hezbollah 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.

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“A local Hezbollah 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 authorized 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 kilometers (nine miles) north of Baalbek.

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

Recent Israeli strikes in south Lebanon have killed two senior Hezbollah commanders -- one of them this week -- with the Shia 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.

Hezbollah 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.

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Hezbollah 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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