Lebanon: Deadly blast targets Hezbollah

Analysts say the blasts are linked to the involvement of Tehran-backed Hezbollah in Syria’s war

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An unknown number of casualties have been reported after a car bomb exploded at a Hezbollah position near the town of Labweh in eastern Lebanon at dawn on Tuesday.

"A blast went off at around 4:00 am (0200 GMT) ... causing deaths and injuries," a security source told Agence France-Presse, adding that the explosion was caused by a car bomb.

No official statements have been released so far by the Lebanese government or Hezbollah, Al Arabiya’s correspondent Adnan Ghamloush reported.

Ghamloush said the timing of the blast suggested it was not intended to target civilians.

Al Manar, the television channel of the militant Hezbollah group, also said the explosion was a car bomb near one of its bases and that there were casualties.

The Lebanese army has created a cordon surrounding the area of the attack and investigations are underway.

Hezbollah militiamen had already intercepted two car bombs earlier on the same road, Lebanon's NNA news agency reported.

It was not immediately clear whether the driver was a suicide bomber or the small arms fire had triggered the explosion, the news agency added.

Residents of the area said they heard the sound of sirens as ambulances headed towards the scene of the blast.

The security source told AFP members of the powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah and security forces quickly deployed in the area.

In recent months, several blasts have targeted Hezbollah-controlled areas and convoys in Beirut and the Bekaa valley in eastern Lebanon.

Infographic: Attacks on Hezbollah
Infographic: Attacks on Hezbollah

On Nov.19, two suicide attackers targeted the Iranian embassy in southern Beirut, killing 23 people.

Analysts say the blasts are linked to the involvement of Tehran-backed Hezbollah in Syria's war. Hezbollah has deployed thousands of its men into Syria, to fight alongside troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

(With AFP)