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BEIRUT: Local rescuers and official media said an Israeli strike killed a woman and a girl from the same family on Tuesday in Lebanon’s south, where the Iran-backed Hezbollah group and Israel have exchanged regular fire.

The strike comes as Hezbollah said it launched drone attacks on north Israel bases earlier in the day, in retaliation for the killing of a fighter Israel described as “significant”.

A civil defence source told AFP that “a woman in her 50s and a 12-year-old girl have been killed” in an Israeli strike while several injured people from the same family were taken to hospital.

Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) confirmed a woman and a child had been killed, adding that “six others were wounded in an enemy air strike on a house in Hanin,” near the Israeli border.

“Enemy warplanes carried out a raid on a two-storey house, firing two air-to-surface missiles and completely destroying it,” the NNA said, adding that the building housed “a family that had not left… since Israeli attacks started”.

Hezbollah hits back after Israel strike kills woman, girl in Lebanon

Tens of thousands have been displaced on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border since near-daily skirmishes began following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel that triggered its aggression in Gaza.

Hezbollah has stepped up its rocket attacks on Israeli positions in recent days, with the latest assault targeting beyond the border area that the group usually strikes.

Earlier Tuesday, Hezbollah said it launched “a combined air attack using decoy and explosive drones that targeted” two Israeli bases north of Acre, while Israel said they did not hit their targets.

The Lebanese group added that the attack was “in response” to an Israeli drone strike that killed one of its members in south Lebanon earlier in the day.

Israel’s army said it had “successfully intercepted two suspicious aerial targets off the northern coast”.

On Tuesday morning, Hezbollah said one of its fighters had been killed by Israeli fire, adding he was a resident of the area where his vehicle was struck.

A source close to the Iran-backed group told AFP an Israeli drone strike deep into Lebanon killed an engineer working for the group’s air defence forces as he was travelling in a vehicle.

The strike hit the Abu al-Aswad area near the coastal city of Tyre, some 35 kilometres (22 miles) from the border, an AFP journalist reported.

The fighter’s vehicle was completely burnt out.

Hezbollah also said in an overnight statement that another fighter had been killed by Israel.

Earlier Tuesday, the Israeli army had said it killed “two significant terrorists in Hezbollah’s aerial unit” in overnight and morning strikes.

The fighter killed Tuesday was “heavily involved in the planning and execution of terrorist attacks against Israel,” it added.

Since October 7, at least 380 people have been killed in Lebanon, mostly Hezbollah fighters but also 72 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says 11 soldiers and eight civilians have been killed on its side of the border.

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