Lebanon: Hezbollah stronghold hit by explosions


Shiite Muslim pilgrims affiliated to Hezbollah take part in rituals on January 25, 2011, in Baalbek.



At least three explosions were reported in a Hezbollah stronghold in eastern Lebanon on Wednesday, among conflicting accounts of the location of the blasts and the number of people killed.

The Associated Press cited a Lebanese security official saying two people were killed in a blast in Baalbek and two injured.

Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reported that at least four people were killed and three wounded in the blasts, which targeted a house belonging to Mohammad Adnan Mussawi.

Security sources speaking to The Daily Star said Hezbollah cordoned off the area of the blast site in Baalbek. They said the cause of the blast was not yet clear.

While a local official said the explosion was most likely aimed at a Hezbollah arms depot, Hezbollah MP Kamel Rifai told The Daily Star that his group did not store arms in towns.

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Agence France Presse reported that at least nine people were killed and seven wounded in separate blasts on Wednesday, including the one in Baalbek. A security official told AFP that four of the nine killed were Syrian workers.

Residents told AFP that the second set of explosions probably hit an arms stockpile in a building that was under construction in an uninhabited area, between the villages of Nabishit and Khodr.