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Israeli strikes hit near south Lebanon city of Sidon

Israeli strikes hit near south Lebanon city of Sidon
Source: Video Screenshot

At least two Israeli air strikes hit southern Lebanon on Monday near the coastal city of Sidon, state media and an AFP photographer said.

Hamas ally Hezbollah and its arch-foe Israel have been exchanging near-daily fire across the border since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on October 7.

“Israeli warplanes carried out… strikes on the town of Ghaziyeh,” the state-run National News Agency (NNA) said Monday, adding that a vehicle was targeted and ambulances rushed to the scene, without providing further details.

While most the exchanges in recent months have been limited to areas near the frontier, Ghaziyeh is some 30 kilometres (around 20 miles) from the nearest Israeli frontier and less than five kilometres from the city of Sidon.

The AFP photographer reported the sound of at least two successive strikes in Ghaziyeh, with dark smoke billowing across the area.

One of the strikes appeared to have targeted a hangar close to the main coastal highway, the photographer added.

The NNA had earlier in the afternoon reported an “enemy drone” at low altitude over the Sidon area.

Video circulating on social media showed large plumes of smoke arising from at least two strikes.

The Israeli military last week said it killed a Hezbollah commander, his deputy and another fighter in a strike in the south Lebanon city of Nabatiyeh.

The strike on a residential building also killed seven members of the same family, according to a security source, while another strike elsewhere killed a woman, her child and stepchild.

On Friday, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah vowed that Israel would pay “with blood” for civilians it killed in Lebanon in recent days, warning the group had missiles that could reach anywhere in Israel.

He warned that his Iran-backed movement has “precision-guided missiles that can reach… Eilat”, on Israel’s Red Sea coast, well beyond the northern towns it usually targets.

The latest uptick in violence has caused international alarm, with fears growing of another full-blown war between Israel and Hezbollah like that of 2006.

Since October, cross-border exchanges have killed at least 269 people on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also including 40 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

On the Israeli side, 10 soldiers and six civilians have been killed, according to the Israeli army.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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