Two killed in Israeli strikes on south Lebanon: State media

Lebanese official media said Israeli strikes on a car and a motorcycle in the country’s south killed two people Monday, with cross-border clashes intensifying in recent days.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah group, a Hamas ally, has traded near-daily cross-border fire with Israel since the Palestinian militant group’s October 7 attack on southern Israel sparked war in the Gaza Strip.

“An enemy drone strike targeted a motorcycle in Naqura,” a coastal town near the Israeli border, Lebanon’s official National News Agency (NNA) said, later reporting “one person was killed and another wounded.”

In another attack, “an enemy drone targeted a car” near the southern village of Zrariyeh, “killing one person,” the NNA said, also reporting Israeli strikes in the country’s east.

It did not say whether the dead were civilians or fighters.

Hezbollah said it launched “a squadron of explosive-laden drones” at northern Israeli army positions “in response to the assassination carried out by the Israeli enemy this afternoon in the Zrariyeh area.”

Israel has previously targeted Hezbollah fighters as well as allied Palestinian and Lebanese militants in cars and on motorcycles.

The violence came as Iran’s acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri-Kani was visiting Lebanon, where he was expected to meet Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Iran supports a number of armed groups in the region including the Shia Muslim movement Hezbollah and Palestinian factions including Hamas.

Bagheri-Kani was on his first foreign trip in the position since a helicopter crash last month killed Iran’s top diplomat Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, along with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials.

Also on Monday, the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said she discussed with Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib the “urgency for the parties to return to the cessation of hostilities.”

On Sunday, Hezbollah said its fighters had bombarded two army positions in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights after deadly Israeli strikes on south Lebanon, which an official said that killed two shepherds.

Nearly eight months of violence have left at least 453 people dead in Lebanon, mostly fighters but including 88 civilians.

On the Israeli side, at least 14 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed, according to the army.

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