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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