Conflict & Justice

Lebanese troops killed near Syria border in spillover of violence


A Lebanese man walks on April 23, 2013 near a whole on the roof of a building after a rocket purportedly fired from neighboring Syria fell in the town of Hermel in eastern Lebanon. On April 20, six shells fell across the border in Lebanon. One of the shells hit the town of Hermel in eastern Lebanon -- a stronghold of the Hezbollah -- the first time violence from Syria spilled over into the town.



Gunmen killed three Lebanese troops Tuesday in a drive-by shooting at a government checkpoint near the Syrian border.

According to a statement from the Lebanese army, the attack on the checkpoint was carried out by "an armed group in a black jeep. The troops stationed at the checkpoint confronted the aggressors. A clash broke out and resulted in the martyrdom of three soldiers."

Four rockets fired at a Lebanese town near the border shortly after the three soldiers were killed also severely injured a woman sitting under an olive tree in her yard, according to The New York Times.

More from GlobalPost: Hezbollah ups the ante, helps rout Syrian rebels near Lebanon's border

Rocket attacks have become more frequent and have killed at least three civilians, including a 17-year-old girl who died in her house on Monday night. Residents said they believed they had become a target for Syrian rebels because of Hezbollah's presence.

They blamed jihadi extremists for the rockets and said they thought the source of the attacks the Lebanese town of Arsal. They also said they believed those launching the rockets were either Syrian rebels or their Lebanese Sunni sympathizers.

The fighting in the Lebanon-Syria border region comes as the European Union has decided not to extend an arms embargo on Syria, allowing member states to send weapons to help the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A senior member of the Syrian opposition said Tuesday that the removal of the embargo was "positive," but that it would not impact the conflict quickly enough.