BEIRUT — The Lebanese Ministry of Health released updated figures Tuesday of those killed, injured and displaced in southern Lebanon since the beginning of the cross-border attacks between Hezbollah and Israel. Hostilities at the border flared on Oct. 8, one day after Hamas' attack in southern Israel.
According to the health ministry and as reported by hospitals up until Dec. 5, 94 people have been killed and 406 others have been injured.
"However, these figures do not include the Lebanese soldier who was killed last night, after the report was published" a spokesperson at the Lebanese Health Ministry told L'Orient Today Wednesday.
Abdul Karim al-Mekdad, a Lebanese Army sergeant, was the first soldier to be killed since the war began. Following an Israeli airstrike on a Lebanese Army site in southern Lebanon Tuesday afternoon, he was transported to a local hospital with three other wounded soldiers, but was later pronounced dead, the army reported.
A Syrian national also succumbed to wounds sustained from shrapnel. He and three of his family members were injured by an artillery barrage that targeted a chicken farm Tuesday night.
And on Wednesday, one person was killed and two others injured in an Israeli drone strike on southern Lebanon, as was confirmed with multiple sources by L'Orient Today.
These latest figures are not included in the health ministry's report.
According to the Lebanese Health Ministry spokesperson, the total number of deaths in its report includes "Hezbollah members, [other] militants, and civilians because hospitals don't differentiate between the dead when it comes to the count."
The report outlines that 92 percent of the total dead and injured are male while nine percent are female (it was not immediately clear why the percentages included in the gender section of the report add up to 101 rather than 100). Ninety-six percent of the victims are Lebanese, while two percent are Syrian. One percent of all injured and killed are Palestinian and another one percent other nationalities.
The largest age group among the victims are those aged 25-44, comprising 65 percent of the dead and injured.
The report, quoting the International organization for Migration (IOM), also states that 55,185 people have been displaced since the beginning of the conflict.
Thirty-nine percent of those injured were hit by blunt objects as a result of Israeli shelling, 33 percent by the effect of a blast, and 22 percent because of exposure to chemicals, the report notes.
According to an AFP count on Wednesday, more than 110 lives in Lebanon have been lost since Oct. 7, the majority of them Hezbollah fighters, and more than 14 civilians, including three journalists.
Sixteen civilians and three journalists have been killed, according to L'Orient Today's count on Wednesday morning. It is still not clear if the latest casualty in South Lebanon on Wednesday afternoon is a civilian or a militant.
L'Orient Today contacted a Hezbollah spokesperson Wednesday, who confirmed "79 Hebzollah members have been killed in the south, two from the Lebanese Resistance Brigades [a non-Shia'a paramilitary group affiliated with Hezbollah] one young man from the Mahdi scouts [youth scout affiliated with Hezbollah] and seven Hezbollah members killed in Syria."