Strict Security Measures in Hermel after Reports of Booby-Trapped Cars

Hizbullah members and army troops on Thursday erected checkpoints in the Bekaa region of Hermel after reports said several booby-trapped cars had entered the area.

“Hizbullah has deployed in Hermel after reports about the presence of explosive-rigged cars in the region and security forces have headed to the area to assess the situation,” MTV reported.

For its part, Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) said the army has closed roads leading from and to Hermel after reports said three booby-trapped cars were going to be detonated in Hermel.

Separately, MTV said “Hizbullah has retaken the checkpoints it had handed over to security forces in the South over fears of car bomb attacks." The report, however, was swiftly denied by the Internal Security Forces.

On Friday, the army seized a car rigged with 400 kilograms of explosives on a road between the Bekaa towns of Maqne and Younine.

And on November 19 two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut, killing 25 people and wounding at least 150 others.

Hizbullah said eight of its members, likely affiliated with the embassy guard platoon, were among the dead. The Iranian cultural attache Ibrahim Ansari was also killed in the attack.

Earlier this year, two bombings rocked the Beirut southern suburbs of Bir al-Abed and Rweiss, killing and wounding dozens of people. A booby-trapped car was later discovered in the Beirut southern suburb of al-Maamoura, also a Hizbullah stronghold.

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