Two Lebanese soldiers killed after army post blast

The massive car bomb blast hit Lebanon’s Hermel, which is a Hezbollah stronghold in the Bekaa Valley

Published: Updated:

Two Lebanese soldiers were killed and 15 others injured after a massive car bomb blast hit an army post in eastern Lebanon’s Hermel Saturday, Al Arabiya News Channel’s correspondent reported.

Hermel, a stronghold for the Shiite Lebanese movement Hezbollah in the Bekaa Valley, has seen multiple attacks in recent months related to the war raging in neighboring Syria.

Lebanon’s security forces have warned citizens to stay away from the blast scene.

At the entrance of Hermel

The suicide car blast ripped through the checkpoint which lies at the entrance of Hermel, and at which cars are routinely stopped and searched by army troops, Agence France-Presse reported.

Areas under Hezbollah domination in eastern Lebanon and southern Beirut have suffered a string of violent attacks in recent months, since the Shiite group acknowledged it has sent fighters to support President Bashar al-Assad’s troops in Syria’s war.

Until Saturday, the attacks had all killed civilians.

The blast comes just four days after three people died in a twin bomb attack targeting the cultural center of Hezbollah backer Iran.

And on Feb. 1 a car bombing killed four people at a petrol station in Hermel, in an attack later claimed by Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon, a group named after Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate.

While Hezbollah has been the main focus of a string of attacks, many of them claimed by radical Sunni groups that oppose the Shiite movement’s role in Syria, the army has also been a target.

Extremist Sunnis see the army as taking the side of Hezbollah and other Assad allies in Lebanon’s violence, which has escalated in recent months as a result of Syria’s conflict.

(With AFP)