BEIRUT - Hezbollah's increasingly visible support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and its latest military challenge to Israel has put the militant group on a collision course with domestic opponents who accuse it of dragging Lebanon towards regional conflict.

While still denying it has sent forces to Syria to fight alongside soldiers trying to crush a 19-month-old uprising against Assad, Hezbollah has held a number of public funerals this month for fighters killed performing "jihadi duties".

Security sources said the men were killed on Syrian territory.

Hezbollah's political opponents, who have for months accused it of aiding Assad's forces, have rushed to condemn the group and warned its involvement in Syria could ignite sectarian tension within Lebanon where religious factions fought a 1975-1990 civil war.

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