Arms blasts kill Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon

Published Oct 03, 2012 06:19pm

Scouts from Lebanon's Hezbollah al-Mahdi Scouts wave Hezbollah flags. -Reuters File Photo

BAALBEK: A series of blasts killed three Hezbollah fighters at a weapons storage depot in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa valley on Wednesday, the powerful Shia movement said.

A Lebanese security official had previously said that at least nine people were killed in the explosion, including four Syrian workers.

“Sources from the resistance (Hezbollah) reported that a blast took place in an arms depot of shells, ammunition and remnants of Israel's shelling in the area,” said Hezbollah.

“This unfortunate blast led to the martyrdom of three fighters,” the Lebanese group said in a statement carried by its television channel, Al-Manar.

“Work is continuing in order to deal with the accident, in coordination with the relevant agencies,” the Hezbollah statement added.

Earlier, a Lebanese security official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said that a series of blasts killed at least nine people and wounded seven.

Among the wounded, according to the official, were four Syrian workers, though the Hezbollah statement did not mention them.

Residents said several people were wounded when an arms stockpile exploded in a building under construction in an uninhabited area between the villages of Nabishit and Khodr.

Dozens of ambulances arrived at the scene as members of the Shiite Hezbollah movement surrounded the area, they told AFP.

The security official confirmed there had been “several explosions” but gave no immediate word on where they struck.

Hezbollah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel, has a huge arsenal of tens of thousands of rockets, which it says it needs to retain in case of any new conflict with the Jewish state.

Hezbollah and its allies, which lead Lebanon's governing coalition, support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his 18-month battle against rebels seeking to oust him. The Lebanese opposition is bitterly opposed to the Damascus regime.

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