Terrorists Target Mourning Service in Lebanese Village

Terrorists Target Mourning Service in Lebanese VillageTerrorists Target Mourning Service in Lebanese Village

A series of suicide bombings and other attacks, including one outside a church, rocked a mainly Christian Lebanese village near the Syrian border on Monday, killing five people and wounding nearly 30, officials and witnesses said.

Four suicide bombers struck in the village of Qaa early Monday morning, causing the fatalities and wounding 15 people, AP reported.

That evening, as friends and family members of the victims gathered outside a church, two men on a motorcycle threw a grenade before blowing themselves up, wounding another 13.

The unprecedented attacks triggered fear and panic among village residents, who barricaded themselves indoors. The army issued a statement urging people to avoid gatherings and to cooperate with local authorities.

Violence from the Syrian civil war has spilled over the border in the past, inflaming Lebanon’s own political divisions and raising concerns over the more than 1 million Syrian refugees there, who now make up a fifth of the tiny country’s population.

No group has claimed the attacks and the nationalities of the attackers remained unknown.

A security official said the evening explosions took place while families of those killed in the earlier bombings were gathering to prepare for funerals. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Lebanon’s official National News Agency said 13 people were wounded in the late night explosions.

Rev. Elian Nasrallah, a local priest, said the explosions went off near the Saint Elias church and were followed by gunfire.

The security official said the Lebanese Army was combing the village for more attackers and has imposed a cordon, using flares to light up the area.

An eyewitness said the first four attackers raised suspicions when they passed through the village before dawn. When civilian village guards called out to them, they threw a hand grenade. The witness spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.