Lebanon: Conflicting reports on blast death toll
While some sources said as many as nine people were killed in the blast that ripped through a garage of a Hizbullah member's home in south Lebanon on Monday night, the Shiite group denied any fatalities and said one person was injured. The sources said the blast knocked down a three-story building that might have been used to store weapons.
Reuters news agency quoted Hizbullah spokesman Ibrahim Moussawi as saying that one person was injured and the cause of the blast was under investigation. A Lebanese army statement issued Tuesday also said that one person was wounded in the blast that was caused by a projectile explosion.
But al Liwaa daily on Tuesday, citing an official security report, said nine people died and several others were hurt in the blast that was the result of a left-over Israeli projectile from the 2006 war. For its part, An-Nahar newspaper quoted security sources as saying five people died in the explosion that tore apart the house of Hizbullah official Nasser Issa in Teir Felsay east of the port city of Tyre.
The security sources said Issa found the projectile near a river in Teir Filsay and brought it home. The blast occured as Issa tried to empty the shell from the explosives, the sources added. They said Issa was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.
Spokeswoman for the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon Yasmina Bouziane said UNIFIL was aware of the blast and was in contact with the Lebanese army.