January 16, 2014
Car Bomb Kills 3 in Lebanon
A car bomb has exploded in northeastern Lebanon, killing at least three people and wounding 20 others.
The bomb went off near a local government building in the center of Hermel, a town at the northern end of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley in a predominantly Shi'ite Muslim area, shattering windows and damaging nearby buildings.
The town is located just across the Syrian border from Qusair, where Hezbollah fighters helped Syrian forces reclaim control from rebels last June.
A Reuters photographer said he saw body parts strewn across the street and people with shrapnel wounds in the area of the blast. Hospitals were calling on people to give blood, the photographer said.
Violence from the civil war in Syria has spilled over into the Mediterranean country and Shi'ite group Hezbollah, Lebanon's most powerful military and political movement, has sent fighters and advisers to aid ally President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Alawite minority, in his battle with mainly Sunni rebels.
Hezbollah-controlled areas in Lebanon have been targeted by a series of bombings and rocket attacks claimed by hardline Sunni militants. Four car bombs have exploded in Hezbollah's stronghold in southern Beirut since July.
The attack occurred shortly before an international tribunal began a trial in absentia of four Hezbollah members accused of planning a car bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005.
The trial in The Hague is highly contentious in Lebanon, but its political fallout has been overshadowed by the increasingly sectarian war in Syria over the past three years.
Some information in this report was provided by Reuters.