Suicide bomber kills two Lebanese soldiers: security sources

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 22, 2014 12:44 PM

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed two Lebanese soldiers with a car bomb near an army checkpoint in a Hezbollah stronghold in northeast Lebanon on Saturday, security sources said.

The latest bombing, in a country destabilized by the civil war in neighboring Syria, was the third such attack in recent weeks in Hermel, a predominantly Shi'ite Muslim area of Lebanon near the border with Syria. Fifteen people were wounded.

It followed a suicide attack in Beirut on Wednesday, targeting the Iranian cultural center, that killed eight people. A radical Sunni group said it had carried out that bombing as a reprisal for the military involvement of Hezbollah and Iran in the Syrian war.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Saturday's attack. The bomb was set off when soldiers at the checkpoint became suspicious of the man in the vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, the sources said.

Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed political and military movement, is fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces against predominantly Sunni Muslim rebels in a conflict that has exacerbated sectarian tensions in Lebanon.

Assad is an Alawite, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)