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Hezbollah claims to have targeted Israeli drone flying over Lebanon

Party claims to have chased away aircraft while anti-establishment protests continue across the country
Israel said an attempt to shoot down one of its drones had failed (AFP)

Lebanese group Hezbollah has claimed to have targeted a drone in south Lebanon using "relevant weapons", reported its al-Manar TV. 

The Israeli military said earlier that an attempt to shoot down one of its drones using anti-aircraft missiles had failed. 

Hezbollah vowed in August to shoot down any Israeli drones over Lebanon after a suspected attack on the movement.

Since then, several suspected Israeli drones have been shot at, including a surveillance device downed last week by a local man with a hunting rifle. 

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The party is under considerable pressure at the moment, after popular protests forced the resignation of the Lebanese government despite Hezbollah's efforts to maintain the status quo.

Hezbollah's parliamentary bloc said on Thursday that the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri this week wasted time needed for reforms promised to stimulate Lebanon's economy. 

In a televised statement read by one of its MPs, the Hezbollah parliamentary bloc called on President Michel Aoun to begin consultations with lawmakers to start the process of forming a new government.

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Aoun has asked Hariri's government to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new one can be formed. He was expected to give a speech later on Thursday.

Protesters confronted security forces on Thursday as they attempted to once again blockade roads that had been re-opened by the military in an attempt to limit the disruption caused by the protests. 

While some life returned to the streets of Beirut and other cities this week, die-hard protesters were reluctant to lose one of the few forms of leverage they have to press demands that go far beyond the cabinet's resignation.

"Giving up is out of the question," said Tarek Badoun, 38, one of a group of demonstrators blocking the main flyover in central Beirut.

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