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Fresh suicide attacks hammer Lebanon town near Syria border

Hours after pre-dawn blasts kill five, at least three suicide bombers blow themselves up in Christian village of al-Qaa, wounding several

Lebanese security forces secure the site of multiple suicide bombings which took place early on June 27, 2016 in the predominantly Christian village of Al-Qaa, in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria. (AFP/ STRINGER)
Lebanese security forces secure the site of multiple suicide bombings which took place early on June 27, 2016 in the predominantly Christian village of Al-Qaa, in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria. (AFP/ STRINGER)

A new wave of suicide bombings struck a Lebanese village near the border with war-ravaged Syria where similar attacks killed five people only hours earlier on Monday, a security source said.

In the latest violence, three suicide bombers riding motorcycles blew themselves up in the centre of the mainly Christian village of Al-Qaa in eastern Lebanon, the source told AFP.

A military source told AFP that the first attacker blew himself up near a church.

Father Elian Nasrallah said at least one explosion, possibly more, went off near the Saint Elias church in the village Monday night. He told The Associated Press that the explosions were followed by gunfire.

The security source said two two more bombers struck in front of the municipality building.

The Lebanese Red Cross told LBC television that “many” people were wounded in the bombings.

“Clashes are ongoing on the outskirts of the village between the Lebanese army and armed groups,” another security source said.

Military sources told LBCI there were four blasts in the evening wave of attacks, according to Lebanese news site Naharnet.

Before dawn, at least four suicide bombers hit the village, the army had said, in attacks the Red Cross said killed five people and wounded 15 others. Three assailants also died.

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A security official said at least two explosions took place while families of those killed in the earlier bombings were gathering to prepare for funerals.

Al-Qaa is one of several border posts separating Lebanon and war-torn Syria and is predominantly Christian although one district, Masharia Al-Qaa, is home to Sunni Muslims.

The border area has been rocked by clashes, shelling, and suicide attacks since Syria’s conflict erupted in March 2011.

Suicide blasts in the area have typically targeted checkpoints or military installations and rarely include more than one attacker.

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