Gunmen kill four in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley
Published Monday, June 17, 2013
Gunmen killed three Lebanese and a Turk on Sunday in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, a security source said, as the conflict in neighboring Syria raised fresh tensions.
The unidentified assailants shot dead "two members of the Jaafar family, an Amhaz family member and a Turk" in an ambush while they were smuggling fuel through the Qaa area, he told AFP, asking not to be named.
He had initially identified the victims as four Lebanese and said a fifth man was seriously wounded.
Tensions were running high in the wake of the incident, the source said, with armed members of the Jaafar family gathering around five kilometers from the town of Ersal.
The family members set roadblocks on the Ersal highway, Lebanon's National News Agency reported, as army forces intervened to reopen the road.
Residents of the area, in a statement received by AFP, condemned "this attack on honorable members of the region... that aims to sow sectarian discord".
"We disassociate ourselves from the perpetrators of this massacre whatever their identity," they said, urging the authorities to hunt down the assailants.
Ersal, mainly supporting the Syrian opposition, has been the scene of a string of deadly incursions by the Syrian army in a bid to crack down on arms smuggling. Wounded Syrians have also crossed the border into Ersal for medical care.