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Syria rockets kill 7, mostly children, in Arsal

  • A woman mourn over the bodies of four children after they were killed when shells fired from war-torn Syria hit the Lebanese border town of Arsal in the Bekaa valley on January 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO/STR

  • People inspect a site hit by rocket fire from Syria at the Lebanese border town of Arsal January 17, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmad Shalha

  • A boy holds the remains of a rocket fired from Syria that hit the Shi'ite town of Hermel January 17, 2014. REUTERS/Rami Bleibel

HERMEL, Lebanon: A rocket attack from Syria on the northeastern Lebanese town of Arsal killed seven people including six children Thursday, a Lebanese security source told The Daily Star.

Four siblings from the Hujeiri family were killed by one rocket that hit their house in the border town, the source said, adding that a fifth child from the Hujeiri clan was killed in a separate rocket attack.

The source identified the four siblings as Mohammad, Mahmoud, Yara and Adla Hujeiri. The fifth child from the Hujeiri family was identified as Omar Abdel-Aziz.

The source said another child, identified as Hasan Mohammad Izzeddine, was killed, adding that the ages of the children ranged between three and 10.

A 30-year old man was also killed the attack, the source said.

Three houses were damaged by the projectiles, most likely the result of violent clashes in neighboring Syrian towns, the source said.

The rocket fire into Arsal was one of several to target Lebanese border areas, another security source told The Daily Star. The others struck areas including Hermel and Al-Qasr.

The Army confirmed the attacks, saying 20 rockets and shells from Syria hit Ras Baalbek, Kawakh and Buwayda in Hermel, Masharih al-Qaa and Arsal, resulting in “casualties and material damage.”

The attacks, according to the Army, took place between 10:45 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Ahmad Fliti, Arsal’s deputy mayor, claimed the rockets came from the neighboring Lebanese town of Labweh in Baalbek.

The fierce fighting between rebel groups and regime forces in the Syrian border towns of Qusair, Al-Rif, and Jousieh resonated in the Lebanese region.

As news emerged of the rocket fire into Arsal, a number of men from Bab al-Tabbaneh in the northern city of Tripoli fired several shots in the air. Their rivals in Jabal Mohsen followed suit, also firing gunshots in the air, briefly raising tensions in the port city.

A group of young men also briefly blocked the international highway linking Tripoli to the northern region of Akkar. The Army immediately deployed and reopened the vital road.

Meanwhile, President Michel Sleiman warned of the consequences of Lebanese involvement in the war across the border.

“Sleiman warned of the far-reaching consequences of involvement in the Syria crisis that now represents a high price that the Lebanese are paying at the levels of coexistence, property and livelihoods,” according to a statement from Baabda Palace.

“He urged military and security officials to take all necessary measures to protect Lebanese border villages and towns with Syria which were hit today [Friday] by rockets that led to fatalities and wounded,” the statement added.

 
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Summary

A rocket attack from Syria on the northeastern Lebanese town of Arsal killed seven people including six children Thursday, a Lebanese security source told The Daily Star.

Four siblings from the Hujeiri family were killed by one rocket that hit their house in the border town, the source said, adding that a fifth child from the Hujeiri clan was killed in a separate rocket attack.

The rocket fire into Arsal was one of several to target Lebanese border areas, another security source told The Daily Star. The others struck areas including Hermel and Al-Qasr.

The Army confirmed the attacks, saying 20 rockets and shells from Syria hit Ras Baalbek, Kawakh and Buwayda in Hermel, Masharih al-Qaa and Arsal, resulting in "casualties and material damage".


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