Three soldiers killed by car bomb near Arsal
Three soldiers were killed and four others were wounded Saturday in a suicide car bomb attack on a military post in northeast Lebanon, security sources told The Daily Star.
The vehicle exploded as it drove past a recently erected military checkpoint on the outskirts of Arsal, a northeastern town on the border with Syria, the sources said.
"I heard a very big explosion that shook the entire town," an Arsal resident told The Daily Star.
Army Intelligence cordoned off the military post as ambulances struggled to reach the site of the explosion due to the rugged terrain.
An Army helicopter took off from Riyaq military base in the Bekaa Valley to help direct ambulances to the blast site, the National News Agency said.
According to an Army statement, the suicide car bombing occurred at 7 p.m. in the Wadi Ata area in Arsal and that the explosive-rigged vehicle used in the attack was a black Kia.
The deadly attack came hours after Syrian regime forces, backed by Hezbollah, reportedly captured two more villages in the Qalamoun region that borders northeast Lebanon.
Last month, the Lebanese Army boosted measures along the porous border in the wake of the fall of the rebel-held town of Yabroud, in a bid to prevent infiltration by rebels fleeing the Qalamoun region.
The measures were also part of a nationwide security plan to curb the rising number of terrorist attacks in the country.
Islamist radical groups have claimed responsibility for the spate of car bombings in the country. The bombings have targeted the southern suburbs of Beirut and the northeastern town of Hermel, both strongly associated with Hezbollah.
The groups, which have cited Hezbollah’s role in Syria, have vowed to continue such attacks and not to spare the Army, accusing the military institution of cooperating with Hezbollah.