Suicide attack targets church in Lebanese village

At least three attackers have been killed and another 15 injured, said Georges Kettaneh, the general secretary of Lebanese Red Cross

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A new wave of suicide bombings hit outside a church in a Lebanese village on Monday evening as residents were preparing for the funerals of victims of a multiple suicide attacks earlier in the day, security sources said.

In the latest violence, the suicide bombers riding motorcycles blew themselves up in the centre of the predominantly Christian village of Al-Qaa in eastern Lebanon, the source told AFP. One struck in front of a church and the two others in front of the municipality building.

Medical sources quoted by Reuters said at least 15 people had been wounded in the attack.

Earlier on Monday, four suicide bombers had killed five people in the predominantly Christian village of al-Qaa earlier on Monday, a military source told AFP.

“The first attacker knocked on one of the homes in the village, but after the resident became suspicious, he blew himself up,” the source said.

“People began gathering at the site of the explosion and the three other suicide attackers blew themselves up,” he added.

A security source had said earlier that a bomb had exploded and then “more than one suicide bomber blew themselves (up)”.

George Kettaneh, the general secretary of the Lebanese Red Cross, told AFP the blast had left “at least eight killed including three suicide bombers.”

He said 15 other people were wounded, including some in critical condition.

Lebanon’s national news agency said the blasts struck at 10 minute intervals and also wounded three Lebanese soldiers stationed in the area.

Al-Qaa is one of several border posts separating Lebanon and war-torn Syria.

The border area has been rocked by clashes and shelling since Syria’s conflict erupted in 2011.

Lebanon’s army has fought off extremist factions along the frontier and has sought to clamp down on local cells operating in the area.

In August 2014, the army clashed with ISIS and al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, in the border town of Arsal.

As they withdrew, ISIS and Al-Nusra kidnapped 30 Lebanese soldiers and policemen, 16 of whom were released after nearly 18 months of negotiations.

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