Lebanon: Al Nusra front behind Hermel suicide bomb
A Lebanese soldier stands near a burnt out vehicle at the site of a bomb explosion that targeted an army post on February 22, 2014 in eastern Lebanon's town of Hermel. (AFP)
Jihadists claimed a deadly suicide attack Saturday at an army checkpoint in the Lebanese town of Hermel that they indicated was in retaliation for Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria’s war, Agence France-Presse reported.
“In a blessed martyrdom [suicide] operation, the Hermel area was struck on Saturday,” the Al Nusra Front in Lebanon wrote on Twitter hours after the blast that killed two soldiers and a civilian.
The jihadist group posted photographs of children with amputated limbs, under the headline: “The crimes of the party of Iran [Hezbollah] in Syria.”
The suicide attack killed two Lebanese soldiers and a civilian with a car bomb, security sources said according to Reuters News Agency. Until Saturday, the attacks had all killed civilians.
The latest bombing was the third such attack in recent weeks in Hermel, a predominantly Shi'ite Muslim area near the border with Syria.
It comes just four days after three people died in a twin bomb attack targeting the cultural center of Hezbollah backer Iran.
Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed political and military movement, is fighting alongside Assad's forces against predominantly Sunni Muslim rebels in a conflict that has exacerbated sectarian tensions in Lebanon.
Believed to be a franchise of Syria’s Al Nusra Front, known as the arm of Al Qaeda in the war-torn country, the Lebanese jihadist group recently claimed responsibility for attacks targeting Hermel and other areas of the Lebanon dominated by Hezbollah.