BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least three people were killed and six wounded when a suicide car bomber struck a petrol station in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley near the border with Syria, a security source said.
He said two of the dead were members of Hezbollah who had approached the vehicle in the town of Nabi Osmane, a bastion of the Shi‘ite Muslim militant group, which has been the target of attacks over its involvement in Syria’s civil war next door.
Hezbollah-operated Al Manar television broadcast images from the site of the blast showing the twisted metal of a burnt-out car. What appeared to be the structure of the petrol station and an adjacent building were heavily damaged. Civilians, soldiers and emergency response workers were on the scene.
Hezbollah is fighting alongside Syrian government forces against a Sunni Muslim-led insurgency seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad, whose minority Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi‘ite Islam.
Hezbollah has been subjected to car bombings and rocket fire over the past year in the Bekaa Valley and in the heavily residential areas of south Beirut where it maintains a strong presence and support base.
One person was killed in Nabi Osmane on Saturday after several rockets were fired from the border area near Arsal, a town about 10 km (6 miles) to the southeast which anti-Assad rebels have used regularly to cross into Syria.
Reporting by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Mark Heinrich