Three Lebanese soldiers killed near Syria border


A Lebanese policeman speaks on the phone while inspecting a damaged apartment after two rockets exploded in Shiah, a southern suburb of Beirut, on May 26, 2013. At least four people were wounded when two rockets exploded in the Shiite-majority Hezbollah heartland of south Beirut, a Lebanese security source said. It was the first time the Lebanese capital's southern suburbs have been targeted during the two-year-old conflict in neighbouring Syria, where Hezbollah has thrown its military might into the regime's fight against rebels seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad.


Anwar Amro

Lebanon has been anxiously watching the Syrian crisis unfold only a border away for several years now, so a report Tuesday that rockets were launched from the war-torn country into Lebanon has heightened concerns hours after three Lebanonese soldiers were reported killed in the border region.  

Lebanon's state news agency NNA said two rockets from Syria hit the Lebanese city of Hermel on Tuesday, with no reported casualties, according to CNN. It was not immediately clear who had fired the rockets. 

Also Tuesday, Lebanese authorities also said three Lebanese soldiers were killed by unknown gunmen at an army checkpoint in the eastern Bekaa Valley, reported Reuters

The incidents fuel concerns that the conflict in Syria — where rebels have been fighting President Bashar al-Assad in a two-year struggle for power that has killed tens of thousands of Syrians — may breach the porous Lebanese border. 

On that note, Lebanese President Michel Sleiman called the soldiers' deaths "part of a series of terrorist, criminal acts that seek to instigate discord in the country," reported Agence-France Presse.

The militant Lebanese group Hezbollah loyal to Assad also condemned the killings as a "terrorist crime" against the nation, said Reuters.

Lebanese officials said a search for the perpetrators is under way.