BEIRUT: At least five family members were killed in an Israeli strike in south Lebanon, official media said Thursday in an updated toll, adding one boy was pulled alive from the rubble.

The raid late Wednesday in the southern city of Nabatiyeh resulted in the highest civilian death toll in a single strike in Lebanon since cross-border hostilities began in October, raising fears of a broader conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

A total of 10 people were killed in Israeli raids across southern Lebanon on Wednesday, eight of them civilians, official media and Hezbollah said.

The state-run National News Agency said on Thursday that “five bodies were pulled out” of the wreckage of a flat in Nabatiyeh, identifying them as apartment owner Hussein Barwaji, his two daughters, his sister and his grandson.

It had previously reported four dead.

Barwaji’s wife and niece’s “bodies” were unaccounted for, the NNA said.

Emergency responders managed to pull a boy alive from the rubble “after midnight”, it added, while another relative and at least six other people were taken to hospital.

The agency said the Israeli strike, carried out by “a drone with a guided missile”, caused severe damage to the three-storey apartment building, warning it could collapse and reporting damage to nearby buildings, vehicles and infrastructure.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said authorities had cordoned off the area.

Israel military says ‘begins series’ of Lebanon air strikes

The Israeli military and Iran-backed Hezbollah have been trading near daily cross-border fire since the Israel-Hamas war began in October.

Also Wednesday, the NNA said Israeli warplanes targeted a house in south Lebanon’s Sawwaneh, killing three members of the same family, identifying them as a Syrian woman and her child, aged two, and stepchild, 13.

Two Hezbollah fighters were also killed in the Israeli strikes elsewhere in south Lebanon on Wednesday, the group said.

The strikes came as the Israeli army said a soldier was killed in rocket fire from Lebanon.

No group has taken responsibility for the rocket fire, with Hezbollah claiming no attacks on Israeli troops or positions on Wednesday.

Fears have been growing of another full-blown conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, who last went to war in 2006.

The UN secretary-general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric warned that “the recent escalation is dangerous indeed and should stop.”

The cross-border violence has killed at least 254 people on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also including 38 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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