Israel strikes two Hezbollah cells in southern Lebanon

Israel strikes two Hezbollah cells in southern Lebanon
Hezbollah has said 27 of its fighters have been killed in clashes with the Israeli military. Five Israeli soldiers have also been killed.
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Clashes between Israel and Hezbollah have been increasing since the start of the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel on 7 October [Getty]

Israeli aircraft struck two Hezbollah cells in Lebanon early on Monday that were planning to launch anti-tank missiles and rockets toward Israel, its military said, as fighting flared across the two countries' shared border.

Hezbollah said one of its fighters was killed, without providing details. Lebanon's state-run news agency NNA reported an Israeli air strike on the southern outskirts of Aitaroun, in southern Lebanon. It also did not provide details.

The Israeli military said one cell was adjacent to the Israeli town of Mattat, around 13 km (8 miles) southwest of Aitaroun. It said the other was further north in the disputed Shebaa Farms area. The military said it struck both cells before they fired.

It was not immediately clear if the two sides were referring to the same set of incidents. Israel later said it struck more Hezbollah targets, including a compound and an observation post. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

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Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel have been trading fire at the frontier with increasing frequency since Palestinian group Hamas carried out a surprise attack on Israel on 7 October and Israel responded with intense air strikes on Gaza.

Israel has moved to evacuate 42 communities along its northern front with Lebanon over the fighting, which Hezbollah says has killed at least 27 of its fighters since 7 October.

Lebanese security sources say 11 fighters with Palestinian groups in Lebanon, allied to Hezbollah, have been killed in the border area, alongside four civilians.

At least five Israeli soldiers and one civilian have been killed on Israel's side of the frontier, according to Israeli military reports.