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Hezbollah says fires at Israel after east Lebanon strike

Beirut – Lebanese official media said an Israeli strike Monday wounded three people in the country’s east, with Hezbollah saying it launched “dozens of Katyusha rockets” at an Israeli base in retaliation.

Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah have exchanged regular cross-border fire since Palestinian militant group Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel sparked war in the Gaza Strip.

In recent weeks Hamas-ally Hezbollah has stepped up its attacks on northern Israel, and the Israeli military has struck deeper into Lebanese territory.

“Enemy warplanes launched a strike at around 1:30 am this morning on a factory in Sifri, wounding three civilians and destroying the building,” Lebanon’s official National News Agency said.

Sifri is in Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa Valley in the Baalbek area, a Hezbollah stronghold that Israel has repeatedly struck in recent weeks, located around 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the Israel-Lebanon frontier.

The Israeli army said its warplanes “struck a Hezbollah military structure… deep inside Lebanon,” referring to the location as “Safri”.

Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group said it launched “dozens of Katyusha rockets” targeting “the headquarters of the Golan Division… at Nafah base” in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.

The strikes by Hezbollah on Israel came “in response to the enemy’s attack targeting the Bekaa region”, it said.

Hezbollah later claimed a drone attack on troops in northern Israel, with the Israeli army saying “a UAV (drone) was identified crossing from Lebanon into the area of Metula”.

The army also said “fighter jets struck approximately 15 (Hezbollah) military structures and terror infrastructure” in south Lebanon.

Last month, a building in Sifri was targeted in an Israeli raid, while the Israeli army said it had targeted Hezbollah sites in Lebanon’s east. 

The intensifying exchanges have stoked fears of all-out conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, which went to war in 2006.

In Lebanon, at least 390 people have been killed in nearly seven months of cross-border violence, mostly militants but also more than 70 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

On Sunday official media in Lebanon said an Israeli strike on a southern village killed four family members, with Hezbollah announcing retaliatory attacks.

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

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

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