HERMEL, Lebanon: Security forces defused overnight Friday a car rigged with a large quantity of explosives in east Lebanon, security sources said.
The car – a Buick - was located between the Baalbek towns of Younin and Maqneh around midnight, the sources said, adding that explosives weighing 350 kilograms and two mortar bombs weighing 20 kilograms each were found inside.
In a statement issued later in the day, the military said that Army Intelligence seized a black Buick in the Bekaa rigged with 350 kilograms of explosives.
Photographs of the vehicle showed a dusty old model Buick with shattered pieces of glass on the road and a trunk full of explosives.
It was not clear whether the car was primed to explode in the area or planned to be moved to another location for detonation.
Authorities were alerted to the vehicle after reports of a shootout between two vehicles, including the Buick, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A Lebanese Army Intelligence patrol found the Buick with its front window smashed, they said, adding that the explosives were located after a careful inspection of the vehicle.
The area was cordoned off and bombs experts disabled the explosives material and mortar bombs by 3 a.m., the sources said.
The discovery came hours before celebrations to mark Lebanon’s Independence Day.
In mid-August, authorities seized a car rigged with 250 kilograms of explosives south of the Lebanese capital.
The Army said Friday an investigation into the incident is under way.