Hezbollah scraps al-Quds Day event amid security fears
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Hezbollah scraps al-Quds Day event amid security fears

Lebanon on high alert since nine bombs exploded Monday in eastern border village of Qaa, killing five

Lebanese army soldiers from the special forces unit patrol Qaa, a predominantly Lebanese Christian village near the Syrian border where suicide bombers blew themselves up among civilians the day before, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (AP)
Lebanese army soldiers from the special forces unit patrol Qaa, a predominantly Lebanese Christian village near the Syrian border where suicide bombers blew themselves up among civilians the day before, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (AP)

BEIRUT — The Lebanese Hezbollah group cancelled an annual event on Thursday in Beirut’s southern suburbs amid security concerns gripping the country in the wake of deadly suicide bombings earlier this week in a Christian village along the Syrian border.

In a statement, the Iran-backed Shiite group said it was scrapping the commemorations of al-Quds Day, citing the prevailing “security situation.”

It was the first time the group, which also participates as a political party in Lebanon’s government, cancelled the annual commemoration established by Iran’s late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Al-Quds is Arabic for “Jerusalem.” “Al-Quds Day” falls on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and is meant to be a day of solidarity with the Palestinians.

In this August 2, 2013 file photo, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah speaks during a rally to mark Jerusalem day, or Al-Quds day, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah speaks during a rally to mark Jerusalem Day, or Al-Quds Day, in Beirut, Lebanon, August 2, 2013. (AP/Hussein Malla, File)

The Lebanese army, meanwhile, announced it had foiled two terror plots by the Islamic State group targeting residential and tourist sites in the country. The army said it had arrested five suspects linked to the plots, among them the alleged mastermind. It did not say where or when the suspects were arrested.

The Lebanese flag flies at half staff atop Government House in Beirut to pay respect to victims of Monday's terror attacks in the eastern Lebanese village of Qaa, in downtown Beirut, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
The Lebanese flag flies at half-staff atop Government House in Beirut to pay respect to victims of Monday’s terror attacks in the eastern Lebanese village of Qaa, in downtown Beirut, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (AP/Hassan Ammar)

Lebanon has been on high alert since nine bombs exploded in the eastern border village of Qaa on Monday, killing five residents. Eight were detonated by suicide bombers. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Violence from neighboring Syria’s devastating civil war has on occasion spilled into Lebanon’s border regions. The Islamic State and al-Qaeda militants briefly seized the Lebanese border town of Arsal in 2014, before security forces pushed them back across the frontier.

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