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Syrian Jihadists Claim Lebanon Bombing

Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon claims responsibility for Saturday’s suicide car bombing in Hezbollah stronghold.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/2/2014, 4:03 AM

Syrian supporters of the Al-Nusra group
Syrian supporters of the Al-Nusra group
AFP photo

Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon, a group named after Al-Qaeda's jihadist Syrian affiliate, has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s suicide car bombing in a stronghold of the Hezbollah that has killed at least four people.

Al-Jazeera reported that the group said Saturday's attack, which targeted a petrol station in Hermel in eastern Lebanon, was a suicide bombing in response to Hezbollah's involvement in Syria. The claim of responsibility was made via the group’s Twitter account, the report said.

"At least four people were killed and more than 15 wounded, two or three of them in critical condition," Marwan Charbel, Lebanon's interior minister, was quoted as having told Hezbollah's Al-Manar television station.

The petrol station is part of a charitable network set up by Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a leading Shiite religious leader and Hezbollah spiritual guide who died in 2010.

It was the seventh attack to target Hezbollah in Lebanon since mid-2013, when the armed group sent men to Syria to fight alongside President Bashar Al-Assad's troops against mainly Sunni rebel groups.

Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon said on Twitter that the bombing was a "second martyrdom operation against the Party of Iran [Hezbollah] stronghold in Hermel ... because of the continuation of the Party of Iran's crimes against our oppressed people in our beloved Sham [Syria], and its insistence on sending more of its mercenaries to kill the Syrian people.

"Faced with the massacres it is carrying out, we can only repay the favor in its heartland, to push it to reconsider its calculations," the group said, according to Al-Jazeera.

Najib Mikati, Lebanon's caretaker prime minister, condemned the bombing as a "terrorist attack", and called for unity to "protect our homeland".

Saturday’s attack came just two weeks after a car bomb in the same town killed five people and left scores more wounded.

The previous attack in Hermel was also claimed by the Lebanese branch of the Nusra Front.