Casualties in Lebanon suicide bombing near Hezbollah checkpoint

Dec. 17, 2013 at 6:23 AM

BAALBECK, Lebanon, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Deaths and casualties were reported after a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a Hezbollah checkpoint in east Lebanon, officials said.

The incident occurred at around 3 a.m. Tuesday. A suicide bomber drove his vehicle into two vans said to be carrying Hezbollah operatives near a Hezbollah checkpoint in the town of Sbouba, northwest of Baalbeck, the Lebanese newspaper the Daily Star reported.

The state-run National News Agency (NNA) said there were a number of casualties among civilians and Hezbollah operatives. Ambulances evacuated the injured. The Daily Star said at least four vehicles caught fire. Lebanese media said Hezbollah sealed off the site following the bombing.

The Hezbollah run al-Manar satellite station reported no casualties or damage was caused when the car bomb exploded on the outskirts of the town.

The NNA said Tuesday's bombing was the third suicide attack in the country since the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. The news agency noted that 25 people were killed Nov.19 when two suicide bombers blew up near the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

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