Lebanon News

Bekaa bombing believed aimed at Hezbollah fighters

Authorities inspect the site of an explosion in Taanayel, Monday, June 10, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

TAANAYEL, Lebanon: A roadside bomb exploded in the Bekaa Valley Monday morning and targeted two vans, which some security sources said were transporting Hezbollah fighters into Syria. Some leaders of Syria’s armed opposition have vowed to retaliate against Hezbollah on Lebanese soil after the group fought openly alongside embattled President Bashar Assad’s forces to retake the Syrian town of Qusair.

The explosion occurred at 9:40 a.m., causing light damage to a passing van and car.

Both vehicles were heading east through Taanayel, but the van aroused suspicion when, rather than stopping, it kept driving even though the bumper, with a license plate bearing the number 372 414, had been blown off and lay by the side of the road.

The car was a BMW belonging to Jerjes Bashalani, a resident of nearby Mraijat. Bashalani, who was uninjured, said he was there by coincidence.

Information provided by security sources suggested both vans passed into Syria without being stopped.

Lebanese Army Intelligence, detectives, members of the police’s Internal Security Forces and State Security promptly arrived at the scene of the explosion and immediately erected a security cordon.

Military experts said the bomb, which weighed 300 grams and left a hole in the road 30 cm deep and 40 cm wide, was likely detonated remotely.

In the last two months Hezbollah has buried dozens of fighters who fought alongside Assad forces in the region of Qusair and other parts of war-torn Syria.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 11, 2013, on page 1.

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