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Middle East crisis

Lebanon’s Hezbollah says it launched dozens of rockets after Israeli strikes

Lebanon’s Hezbollah says it launched dozens of rockets after Israeli strikes
Smoke rises from the village of Arab El Louaizeh southern Lebanon following Israeli shelling, as seen from the Israeli side of the border, 03 March 2024. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that Hezbollah cell launched anti-tank missiles at a military target in the Maayan Baruch region, leaving no injuries, and the IDF responded by targeting the sources of the fire in Lebanon. EPA-EFE/ATEF SAFADI

BEIRUT, March 27 (Reuters) - Lebanon's Hezbollah said it launched dozens of rockets at Kiryat Shmona, an Israeli town over the border, early on Wednesday in response to deadly Israeli strikes on the village of Hebbariyeh in southern Lebanon a day earlier.

Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah have been trading fire across the border since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in Gaza, in the biggest escalation between the old enemies since a month-long conflict in 2006.

Both sides have said they do not want all-out war and are open to a diplomatic process but strikes, have picked up this week after a lull in cross-border shelling.

Israeli emergency services said a rocket strike on Wednesday killed a factory worker in Kiryat Shmona following warning signs in the area.

Paramedics from the MDA ambulance service said the man was pulled from the wreckage of the factory with severe wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

At least seven people were killed in the Israeli strikes on Hebbariyeh, two Lebanese security sources told Reuters.

The Israeli strikes appeared to be aimed at the Islamist group’s emergency and relief centre in the village, the sources said.

Hezbollah earlier on Wednesday had condemned the strikes on Habbariyeh. Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon had already killed more than a half dozen medical personnel and rescue workers, according to Lebanon’s health ministry.

The Gaza war has spread beyond the enclave’s borders to other parts of the Middle East.

Aside from tensions between Israel and Hamas’ ally Hezbollah, Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis have been attacking ships in and around the Red Sea, and armed groups in Iraq with close ties to Tehran have attacked bases hosting U.S. forces in that country.

Hezbollah earlier on Wednesday had condemned the strikes on Habbariyeh. Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon had already killed more than a half dozen medical personnel and rescue workers, according to Lebanon’s health ministry.

On Tuesday, Israeli air strikes near two towns in northeast Lebanon killed three Hezbollah militants, the group posted on Telegram. Israel confirmed those strikes.

(Reporting by Laila Bassam and James MacKenzie; Writing by Enas Alashray and Clauda Tanios; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Michael Georgy, Andrew Heavens and Alex Richardson)

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