x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Car bomb hits Hizbollah stronghold in eastern Lebanon

A car bomb has killed at least three people and sparked a huge blaze in the eastern Lebanon town of Hermel, a Hizbollah stronghold.

BAALBEK, Lebanon // A car bomb killed at least four people on Saturday at a petrol station in eastern Lebanon’s town of Hermel, a stronghold of the Shiite movement Hizbollah, the interior minister said.

“At least four people were killed and more than 15 wounded, two or three of them in critical condition,” interior minister Marwan Charbel told Hizbollah’s Al Manar television station.

“We think it is a suicide attack,” he added.

The explosion, which took place around 6:00pm after night had fallen, sparked a huge blaze that hindered the arrival of emergency services.

Al Manar broadcast images of huge flames at the site of the attack.

It was the second blast in less than a month to hit the town, which is close to the border with war-ravaged Syria.

On January 16, a car bombing outside the main government administration building in Hermel killed three people.

The attack is the seventh to hit Hizbollah strongholds in Lebanon since mid 2013, when the group sent men to Syria to fight alongside Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s troops against mainly Sunni rebel groups.

* Agence France-Presse