Fatal Bombing in Lebanon as Hariri Trial Begins
A car bomb killed five people on Thursday morning in the town of Hermel in Lebanon. Security officials in the town said scores more were injured in the blast.
The town of Hermel has a primarily Shia Muslim population, and is in the Bekaa region, where the Shia Muslim Hezbollah terrorist group is highly influential. Hezbollah strongholds have previously been targeted by Syrian rebels over the group’s support for the Bashar Assad regime.
Hezbollah has played an active role in combat in Syria, fighting alongside Assad’s troops. Hermel is near the Syrian border.
Two weeks ago, a bombing in a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut killed five people.
The latest explosion struck on the day that four men are to go on trial for the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The four, all of them alleged Hezbollah members, have not been caught and will be tried in absentia.
They are charged of involvement in Hariri’s assassination in 2005. Hariri and 22 others were killed when a massive car bomb was set off near his convoy.
Many of Hariri’s supporters blamed Syria and its ally Hezbollah for the attack. Hezbollah denies involvement, and has blamed Israel and the United States for the killings.