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Deaths reported after Lebanon car blast near Hezbollah position
Published Tuesday 17/12/2013 (updated) 17/12/2013 17:35
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A file photo shows a Lebanese soldier walking towards a checkpoint
in the capital Beirut, on Sept. 23, 2013 (AFP/File Joseph Eid)
BAALBEK, Lebanon (AFP) -- A car bomb exploded near a Hezbollah position in eastern Lebanon at dawn on Tuesday, causing an unknown number of casualties, a security source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"A blast went off at around 4:00 am (0200 GMT) ... near a Hezbollah position in Sbouba ... causing deaths and injuries," said the source, adding that the explosion was caused by a car bomb.

Residents of the area meanwhile said they heard the sound of sirens as ambulances headed towards the scene of the blast.

The source said members of Hezbollah and security forces quickly deployed in the area.

In recent months, several blasts have hit civilian targets in majority-Shiite areas and convoys in Beirut and the Bekaa valley in eastern Lebanon that are associated with Hezbollah.

Blasts on July 9 and August 15 killed 27 people, and on November 19, two suicide attackers targeted the Iranian embassy in southern Beirut, killing 23 people.

Analysts say the blasts are linked to the involvement of Tehran-backed Hezbollah in Syria's war.

Hezbollah has deployed thousands of its men into Syria, to fight alongside troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Tensions in Lebanon over the conflict in Syria have been rising, with Hezbollah's involvement criticized by many Sunni Lebanese who back the Sunni-dominated uprising against Assad.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
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