The World

The death toll from fierce battles on the edge of Israel's security zone in southern Lebanon has risen to 31, Israel radio reported. It gave no breakdown. However, police said a total of 19 fighters died, mostly from the pro-Iranian Hezbollah (Party of God), a Shia Muslim group, and also at least four civilians. The Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army reported eight dead. The battles began when Shias stormed three outposts manned by the South Lebanon Army. Israel retaliated by shelling more than a dozen Shia villages and, in a rare move beyond its security zone, sent tanks to the mountain town of Jezzine, more than 12 miles north of the border and the largest Christian stronghold in the area.

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