BEIRUT (Reuters) - A Syrian helicopter opened fire on a Lebanese border town in the eastern Bekaa Valley on Wednesday, wounding two people, security sources said.
The incident took place in the mainly Sunni Muslim town of Arsal, whose residents strongly support the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad in neighboring Syria.
Syrian state news agency SANA said the helicopter was chasing “terrorist groups” who were trying to escape to Lebanon.
“It targeted them and some were hit, others escaped to Arsal so they were (also) chased,” the agency reported.
Arsal has also sheltered fighters who fled the Syrian border town of Qusair, captured by Assad’s forces and Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas after more than two weeks of fierce fighting with rebels.
Violence from Syria’s civil war has increasingly spilled into Lebanon. Rocket fire from rebel-held border areas has fallen on the pro-Hezbollah, Shi‘ite town of Hermel in recent weeks, in apparent response to the group’s battle across the border in Qusair.
Syrian forces have also crossed the poorly defined border in pursuit of rebels.
Deeper inside Lebanon, street fighting fuelled by tensions over Syria has killed dozens of people in the northern city of Tripoli, and two rockets were fired last month towards Hezbollah-controlled south Beirut.
Editing by Michael Roddy