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Suicide bombing in Lebanon kills two troops — security

By AFP - Mar 29,2014 - Last updated at Mar 29,2014

BAALBEK, Lebanon — A suicide car bomber exploded his vehicle at an army checkpoint in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria on Saturday, killing at least two soldiers, a security official said.

“A suicide bomber detonated his car in front of a Lebanese army checkpoint at Aqabet Al Jurd in the Arsal area,” the official told AFP.

He said at least two soldiers were killed, raising an earlier toll of one dead, and that others were wounded.

“There were at least seven soldiers at the checkpoint,” the official added.

The attack was claimed on Twitter by a shadowy group calling itself Liwa Ahrar Al Sunna in Baalbek — Arabic for the Brigades of the free Sunni Muslims.

It said the attack was to avenge the death of Sami Al Atrash, a suspect wanted in connection with car bombings targeting Lebanon’s Shiite group Hizbollah.

Atrash was killed on Thursday in a shoot-out with the army.

The army had described Atrash as a “dangerous terrorist” who was tracked down to a hideout in Arsal, where he was killed.

The Arsal region has seen a spillover of the conflict across the border as Syrian regime forces backed by fighters from Hizbollah press their campaign against rebels.

Most Sunni Muslims in Lebanon back the rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

Sunni groups have targeted Hizbollah interests in Beirut and elsewhere in Lebanon with car bombings in the past months.

Hizbollah claims that the car bombs were prepared in the Qalamun region just across the border and the scene of fierce fighting, before being driven via Arsal to their eventual targets.

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