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Lebanon: several injured in the explosion of a gas warehouse near the Syrian border | Middle East News



The Lebanese Red Cross said it sent rescue teams to the warehouse where there was an explosion of gas canisters.

At least 10 people were injured when an explosion rocked a warehouse storing gas cans near the Lebanese border with Syria, the Lebanese Red Cross and the military said.

The Red Cross said it had sent several rescue teams to the village of Al-Qasr in the eastern region of Hermel where the blast occurred on Sunday and transported the injured to hospitals.

“We reacted to an explosion in a warehouse that was storing gas cylinders. We responded with three teams. Ten people were injured and taken to nearby hospitals, ”a Red Cross statement said.

A spokesperson for the Lebanese army told AFP news agency that the explosion was caused by the explosion of gas canisters in a warehouse.

The military said the explosions occurred far from one of its checkpoints and none of its members were injured.

The cause of the fire and explosions was not immediately clear.

The Hermel region is known for its many illegal Syrian border crossings which are used by smugglers to transport various types of contraband across the border.

Smuggling takes place in both directions, but has intensified from Lebanon to Syria since the war began in 2011 and as the country faces a growing economic crisis and international sanctions.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah movement, a key ally of the Syrian government, is often accused by the Lebanese media and some political parties of carrying out smuggling operations in Syria to the detriment of Lebanon which is grappling with its worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war. war.

In its statement, the Lebanese military said the warehouse was owned by a Lebanese family, but did not say if it was used for smuggling fuel.

The explosion came at a time of heightened tension in the region on the first anniversary of the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, an Iranian general who was also a strong ally of the Lebanese group Hezbollah.

Sunday’s fire began as Israeli planes flew low over Lebanon and as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech to commemorate Soleimani.

The jets confused the source of the explosion. Israeli jets routinely violate Lebanese airspace and have often struck inside Syria from Lebanese territory.




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