Israel strike kills three in south Lebanon: state media

Israel strike kills three in south Lebanon: state media

BEIRUT (AFP): An Israeli air strike on a south Lebanon border town killed a Hezbollah fighter, the group said Wednesday, with state media reporting two of his relatives were also killed.

The border between Lebanon and Israel has seen escalating exchanges of fire, mainly between the Israeli army and Hamas ally Hezbollah, since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7.

“Enemy warplanes raided, before midnight (2200 GMT), a house… in the center of the town of Bint Jbeil,” around two kilometers (a little over a mile) from the border, killing a man, his brother and his wife, Lebanon’s National News Agency said.

The NNA identified the dead as Ali Bazzi, his brother Ibrahim and his wife Shourouk Hammoud.

“Ibrahim Bazzi had come to Lebanon a few days ago from Australia, where he has resided for years, to take his wife Shourouk with him and settle in Australia,” the NNA said.

Another family member was wounded, it added.

Hezbollah later announced that Ali Bazzi was one of its fighters.

Exchanges of fire have been largely confined to the border area, although Israel has conducted limited strikes deeper into Lebanese territory.

Israel has been pushing for Hezbollah to withdraw north of the Litani River, which lies about 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of the border.

On Tuesday, Israel’s military said an anti-tank missile fired by the Iran-backed militant group wounded nine soldiers as they went to assist a civilian wounded in an earlier strike.

Since hostilities began, more than 150 people have been killed on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah combatants but also more than a dozen civilians, three of them journalists, according to an AFP tally.

On the Israeli side, at least four civilians and nine soldiers have been killed since October 7, according to figures from the military.