BEIRUT (AP) — The Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah says three of its fighters have been killed fighting against Islamic militants near the border with Lebanon this week.
In a statement Friday, Hezbollah denied media reports that more than 40 of its fighters had died in the clashes, but confirmed that three Hezbollah fighters have been killed and their families informed.
Hezbollah has been fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces against predominantly Sunni rebels and militants seeking to topple him.
Fighting has intensified in the past week in the mountainous Qalamoun region across the border from Lebanon, where militants from the Islamic State group and the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front are entrenched. Hezbollah and Syrian government troops took control of areas near the border town of Assal al-Ward Thursday.