Rockets in Bekaa as Lebanon struggles to contain Syria spillover

By REUTERS
March 17, 2014 15:47

 
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AL-LABWA, Lebanon - Two rockets struck a mainly Shi'ite town near Lebanon's border with Syria on Monday and security forces blew up a suspected car bomb as they struggled to contain sectarian violence fuelled by a Syrian army offensive across the frontier.

The rocket attack on Al-Labwa was the latest strike on a Shi'ite target inside Lebanon after Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces and their Lebanese allies Hezbollah recaptured the border town of Yabroud from Sunni Muslim rebels on Sunday.

The rebel defeat at Yabroud sent a stream of refugees and fighters across the border towards the Lebanese Bekaa Valley town of Arsal, and was followed hours later by a suicide car bombing against a local stronghold of Shi'ite Hezbollah.

The border area has been steadily sucked into Syria's nearly four-year-old conflict as Syrian troops and jets targeted rebel bases on the frontier and suspected Syrian rebels fired rockets at Shi'ite towns to punish Hezbollah for supporting Assad.

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