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HERMEL, Lebanon: Three Hezbollah fighters and 12 Syrian rebels were killed in fierce battles near Syria’s border with Lebanon, security sources said Sunday, as the Syrian opposition accused the party of “military intervention” in the neighboring country’s bloody conflict.

The fighting, the worst near the border with Lebanon since the uprising erupted in Syria nearly two years ago, underlined Hezbollah’s increasing involvement in the Syrian crisis. It also renewed fears of the Syrian conflict between government troops and opposition groups fighting to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad spilling over into Lebanon.

“In the past two days, 12 Syrian rebels were killed and 30 wounded, while three Hezbollah members were killed and 14 others were wounded in battles,” a Lebanese security source told The Daily Star.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, the source said the fighting between Hezbollah and rebels in the Syrian region of Qusayr, where many Lebanese Shiites reside, has intensified since Friday.

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