Israeli strikes kill 7 Hezbollah members in south Lebanon

SIDON, Lebanon (AP) — An Israeli drone strike hit a car in south Lebanon Saturday morning, killing three Hezbollah members, state media and officials said.

Another four Hezbollah members were killed in a strike on a house in the town of Ramia overnight, said a Lebanese security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

The state-run National News Agency said the latest strike on Saturday hit a car in the Naqoura area along Lebanon’s southern coast.

The Israeli military said in a statement that it had “struck a vehicle in southern Lebanon, in which a number of terrorists who launched rockets into Israeli territory were driving.” It said the militants operated under the Imam Hossein Division, which is affiliated with Iran and operates under Hezbollah.

Hezbollah announced the deaths of seven of its fighters Saturday, but as usual did not specify when and where they were killed.

The Lebanese militant group has been trading fire with Israeli forces along the Lebanon-Israel border near-daily since the beginning of Israel’s war against Hamas, a Hezbollah ally, in Gaza. The fighting has killed more than 200 Hezbollah fighters and at least 37 civilian in Lebanon and at least nine soldiers and nine civilians in Israel.

Hezbollah has said it will not halt its fire until there is a cease-fire in Gaza but would observe a truce if one is reached.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has vowed to step up attacks on Hezbollah even if a cease-fire is reached with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, until the Lebanese militant group withdraws from the border area.

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Associated Press writer Abby Sewell in Beirut contributed to this report.

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