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Blast in Lebanon border town wounds 5 soldiers: security

bomb-blast-ackcityFive soldiers were wounded in an explosion in the eastern Lebanese border town of Arsal on Friday, security sources said, a day after a suicide bomber killed six people there.

“An explosion targeted a small army patrol and wounded five soldiers,” a security source told AFP.

“The explosive device was planted on the side of the road,” he added.

A second security source said the blast had struck near the site of Thursday’s devastating suicide attack.

Six people were killed Thursday when a bomber entered a meeting of Syrian clerics and “detonated an explosive belt, leaving five people dead and six wounded,” a security source said.

One of the wounded later died.

Arsal lies along Lebanon’s border with Syria and is a Sunni Muslim enclave in mainly Shiite eastern Lebanon. It hosts many Syrian refugees as well as rebel fighters in the surrounding countryside.

The town was the scene of fierce fighting in August 2014 between Lebanese security forces and jihadists of Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State group.

As they withdrew from Arsal, the jihadists took dozens of Lebanese police and soldiers hostage and still hold them in the hilly terrain on the town’s outskirts.

In October, eight people were killed and others wounded when Lebanon’s army targeted militant positions along the mountainous eastern border.



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