The Hezbollah group said Sunday that at least five of its fighters were killed along with "dozens" of gunmen in clashes in the Syria-Lebanon border area, AFP reports.
A Hezbollah security official, speaking to the news agency on condition of anonymity, confirmed the deaths of five fighters after clashes around the town of Nabi Sbat in eastern Lebanon.
Hezbollah sources in the area reported earlier that the clashes erupted after gunmen from Syria attacked Hezbollah posts in the area.
"Hezbollah posts in the mountains around Nabi Sbat, east of Baalbek, were attacked by armed groups who came from Qalamun" in Syria, the Hezbollah source in the region said, according to AFP.
"Hezbollah returned fire, inflicting heavy losses among the attackers."
Lebanon's official National News Agency also reported the clashes, saying they erupted after an attack launched by gunmen from Asaal al-Ward in Syria's Qalamun province.
Residents from Nabi Sbat who fled the fighting told AFP they saw Hezbollah convoys picking up several wounded fighters from the group during the clashes.
The clashes come two months after jihadists from the “Islamic State” (ISIS) group and Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front attacked Lebanese security forces in Arsal, which also lies on the Syrian border in eastern Lebanon.
The jihadists withdrew into the mountains around Arsal after a ceasefire, but took with them around 30 soldiers and policemen as hostages.
Three of them have since been executed, contributing to rising anxiety in Lebanon over the encroachment of jihadists and spillover from the war in neighboring Syria.
Hezbollah has come under attack in Lebanon due to its heavy involvement in the Syrian civil war. The group has dispatched fighters to bolster President Bashar Al-Assad's troops, making it a target for bombings in its strongholds in Lebanon.
ISIS has also become a concern to Hezbollah, whose leader Hassan Nasrallah recently warned that ISIS is an “existential threat” menacing Lebanon and the whole region. He later stressed, however, that while Hezbollah is against IS, it is also opposed to the intervention of the United States in Syria.