BEIRUT – A roadside car bomb killed at least nine people and wounded four others in northeast Lebanon on Thursday, in an area close to the Syrian border where violence has spilled over from the war next door, security sources said.
The blast ripped through a commercial area of the Sabil neighborhood of the town of Arsal. Emergency services were working to rescue people from the rubble, local media said.
Militants linked to the conflict across the border in Syria have carried out attacks in and around Arsal in the past.
Security sources said the blast was likely to have targeted an independent religious society made up of Syrian scholars. The head of the society, Sheikh Othman Mansour, was among the dead, the sources said.
Lebanon's National News Agency said the society had been involved in negotiations for the release of Lebanese soldiers still being held by Islamist militants after being captured when fighters overran Arsal last year.
Militants from al Qaeda's Syria branch, the Nusra Front, were involved in the clashes that led to the soldiers' capture.
Syria's civil war has regularly spilled over into Lebanon, which shares a more than 300 km (190 mile) border with its bigger neighbor, and is still rebuilding after its own 15-year civil war.
There have been clashes between gunmen loyal to opposing sides in the Syrian conflict, as well as strikes on the army and cross-border attacks by Syrian rebels.
The last significant security incident in the area took place on Saturday, when Lebanon's army fired at a vehicle carrying Islamist militants, killing three of them.
A separate attack by the Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah in October killed five Islamic State fighters elsewhere in the north of the country, security sources said.
The army fought several days of deadly battles with insurgent groups including Islamic State and Nusra Front during last year's incursion into Arsal.
The two Sunni Islamist groups have a limited presence in western Syria near the Lebanese border. –Reuters
92 News (also known as 92 News HD Plus (Channel 92) is a conservative Urdu language TV channel based in Lahore, Pakistan.
Mian Muhammad Hanif is the chairman of the channel.
This TV channel is a subsidiary of Madinah Group under Galaxy Media Group.
The channel's name, 92, is to celebrate the 1992 Cricket World Cup won by Pakistan. The number 92 is also the telephone country calling code of Pakistan, which is another major reason behind the channel's name.
92 News HD is Pakistan’s first HD Plus News Channel. Aims to bring credible & responsible News & important stories from Pakistan & around the World
We bring you Latest Pakistani and International News at 92News Hd Plus to Read and Watch
We believe in genuine and true journalism, we do not prevail sensation just for ratings.
We do not hide news but never tend to add any unethical content or angling that goes against the norms of our religion Islam and Pakistan's culture.