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Fires caused by Hezbollah rockets spread through northern Israel

REUTERS/GIL ELIYAHU / 2023 Israeli soldiers stand by as a mobile artillery unit fires on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border.

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REUTERS/GIL ELIYAHU / 2023

Israeli soldiers stand by as a mobile artillery unit fires on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border.

JERUSALEM >> Large parts of northern Israel were engulfed by forest fires caused by rockets launched from Lebanon by the militant group Hezbollah, with rescue teams battling to control them on Monday.

Many Israelis living in towns near the border with Lebanon were evacuated months ago due to escalating fighting between Israel and Hezbollah. Some houses caught fire, local media reported.

The Israeli army sent equipment and soldiers to help contain the flames, which spread quickly due to the warm and dry weather, and six military reservists were slightly injured.

“The armed forces have gained control of the fire locations and at this stage no human life is at risk,” the army said.

Israel’s parks authority said earlier on Monday that the fires had already covered hundreds of hectares. The National Fire Service said its firefighters were operating late into the night in several places, including in the town of Kiryat Shmona, where they tried to protect a row of houses.

Police closed the roads and urged residents still in the area to leave.