MIDDLE EAST

US 'concerned' by rising tensions on Israel/Lebanon border

Lebanese journalists and villagers watch as Israeli army shells cause fires on the southern Lebanese border village of Maroun Al-Ras. [AP Photo]

The United States voiced concern Sunday after Israel and Hezbollah exchanged fire along the Lebanese border, slamming the "destabilizing role" of Iranian proxies in the Middle East.

"We are aware of these reports and are concerned about the escalating tensions along the border," said a State Department official.

"The fully supports 's right to self defense," the official said, warning that " should refrain from hostile actions which threaten 's security, stability and sovereignty."

"This is another example of the destabilizing role of Iranian proxies in undermining peace and security in the region," the official said.

Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite movement, is backed by Iran.

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