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BEIRUT - A senior Hezbollah official said Friday that around 250 members of the militant group were killed in the summer war with Israel, the highest toll acknowledged by the Shiite Muslim organization.

Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of Hezbollah's politburo, dismissed Israeli claims that as many as 800 Hezbollah militants were killed, saying the group does not hide its casualties. "We are proud of our martyrs," he told The Associated Press.

He estimated that around 250 militants were killed in the July 12-August 14 fighting with Israel.

A tally compiled by AP from Hezbollah and police reports during the war put the group's losses at 70 dead.

Lebanon's Higher Relief Council, a government agency that handles humanitarian crises, has said 1,191 people were killed in Lebanon, mostly civilians, before fighting ended with a United Nations-brokered cease-fire. An official Lebanese polilce report put the toll at 1,100. The figures are based on reports from hospitals and morgues around the country.

159 Israelis, including 39 civilians, were killed during the 34-day war.