A member of the Lebanese intelligence service stands at the site of an Israeli strike on a vehicle in the Adloun plain area, between Lebanon's southern cities of Sidon and Tyre, on April 23, 2024. Image Credit: AFP

DUBAI: Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group said on Tuesday it had launched a drone attack targeting Israeli military bases north of the city of Acre, in its deepest attack into Israeli territory since the Gaza war began.

Hezbollah said it launched drone attacks on two Israeli bases in retaliation for the killing of a fighter Israel described as “significant”.

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Hezbollah launched “a combined air attack using decoy and explosive drones that targeted” two Israeli bases north of Acre, the group said in a statement, adding it was “in response” to an Israeli drone strike that killed one of its members in south Lebanon.

Earlier, Hezbollah announced two of its members had been killed by Israeli fire, with the Israeli army saying it eliminated “two significant” members of the Iran-backed group in south Lebanon.

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Since Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel triggered war in Gaza, there have been near-daily cross-border exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and the Israeli army.

But Hezbollah has stepped up its rocket attacks on Israeli targets in recent days.

On Tuesday morning, a source close to the group told AFP an Israeli drone strike deep into Lebanon killed an engineer working for Hezbollah’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 said two of its fighters had been killed, one of them overnight.

The Israeli army said it had killed “two significant terrorists in Hezbollah’s aerial unit” on Tuesday morning and overnight.

On Sunday evening, Hezbollah shot down an Israeli drone, both sides said.

Since October 7, at least 378 people have been killed in Lebanon, mostly Hezbollah fighters but also 70 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

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