Exclusive to The Middle East Online
Edited by Nelly Tawil
Five people have been reported dead and fifteen wounded after multiple suicide bomb attacks in north-eastern Lebanon, officials and medics say.
The blasts were located in the predominately Christian village of Qaa, a few hundred yards away from the border. A state-run National News Agency has reported that no group immediately claimed responsibility.
Villagers became aware of suspicious activity around 4am local time, it was only a short time after that, that the first bomb detonated. The three other attackers soon followed, igniting their suicide vests one after the other as people gathered in the road nearby, Lebanons official National News Agency reported.
“Qaa is the gateway to the rest of Lebanon, and here we stopped a plan for a much bigger explosion,” mayor Bashir Matar said.
“As we were treating some of the wounded, I saw the fourth suicide attacker coming toward me. I shouted at him,” Matar said. “We opened fire toward him and he blew up.”
Lebanon has in recent years faced deadly spillovers from the Syrian civil war next door, and Lebanese authorities have been on high alert, tightening security in recent days.
George Kitane, the head of paramedics at the Lebanese Red Cross, confirmed the death toll and said the 15 wounded were rushed to hospitals in nearby areas. He added that several others were treated on the spot.
One of the four explosions struck an ambulance for the village’s archbishopric, killing its driver, residents said.
The explosions occurred about 150 meters away from a Lebanese customs border point. The eyewitnesses spoke on condition of anonymity for fears for his safety.