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Lebanese PM warns of regional war as Israeli shelling escalates on southern border

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Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati warned Friday of Lebanon being dragged into a regional war as the ongoing violence and conflict in the region is escalating.

Mikati made the remarks in a phone call with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, according to a statement from the Lebanese Council of Ministers.

“The expansion of violence and conflict in the region will have dire consequences on Lebanon and neighboring countries,” Mikati told his Qatari counterpart, underscoring the need for the international community to act immediately to stop Israeli violations of international laws.

The Israeli army on Friday intensified air strikes on several southern Lebanese villages, with one of them hitting a Lebanese army’s military site, causing only material damage, according to Lebanese military sources.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that the Israeli forces fired about 120 shells on dozens of villages and towns along Lebanon’s southern border, destroying five houses and damaging 25 others.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah said its fighters carried out attacks using Burkan missiles on several Israeli sites, including Dhahira, Motella, Kiryat Shmona, Al-Marj, and Birkat Risha, in addition to spy equipment and a gathering of Israeli soldiers at the Al-Manara settlement. It confirmed the attacks had caused casualties, without specifying.

The Lebanon-Israel border has been witnessing increased tension since Oct. 8, 2023, after the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets toward Israel in support of the Hamas attack on Israel the previous day, prompting Israel to respond by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.

The confrontations between Hezbollah and Israel have so far killed 202 people on the Lebanese side, including 147 Hezbollah members and 35 civilians, according to Lebanese security sources.

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