World News

Lebanon stops weapons from entering Syria, sources say

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese border police detained two people trying to drive cars filled with weapons into Syria, where mass protests have been challenging President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, security sources said on Thursday.

“The cars had AK-47s, semi-automatic weapons, and some bombs,” one security source said. The men, a Lebanese and Syrian, were detained late on Wednesday in the border area of the eastern Bekaa Valley.

Syrian authorities blame “armed groups” and “infiltrators” for provoking the unrest which started in the south of the country nearly a month ago before spreading, most recently to the second city, Aleppo.

Witnesses, activists and residents say security services have opened fire on demonstrators calling for greater freedoms.

Assad, in power for 11 years, has said his country was the target of a foreign conspiracy to stir up protests in which a rights group has said 200 people have been killed.

On Wednesday, Syrian state television aired what it said were confessions of men who claimed they were part of a terrorist cell that received money and weapons from an anti-Syrian Lebanese lawmaker to carry out attacks on security services in Syria.

The legislator denied the allegations.