A suicide car bomb attack in the northeastern city of Hermel in Lebanon today killed at least four people, including the bomber, and wounded 21 others, security sources said, just weeks after a similar deadly attack in the pro-Hezbollah region.
The suicide bomber drove his vehicle – a Grand Cherokee Jeep – up to a petrol station in the Zahraa area of the city where he then proceeded to detonate it, the sources told The Daily Star.
Fire trucks rushed to the Aytam petrol station where flames soared into the night sky.
Residents were urged to keep away from the raging flames as paramedics, hampered by power cuts, moved in to pull out casualties.
Lebanon has increasingly been drawn into the conflict in neighboring Syria .
The attack in Hermel is the second in just over two weeks. On Jan. 16, a suspected suicide car bombing killed five people and wounded 42 others. A series of car bombs have also struck several Lebanese areas in the past few months.
Most of the bombings were claimed by radical militant groups fighting in Syria. They have pledged to continue their attacks until Hezbollah pulls out its fighters from neighboring Syria.
Citing a preliminary investigation, caretaker Interior Minister "Marwan Charbel" told a local Lebanese television station that Saturday’s attack was likely the work of a suicide bomber.
Other areas of the country where Hezbollah enjoys wide support, particularly Beirut’s southern suburbs, have also seen almost weekly car bombings in recent months.
Lebanese Caretaker Prime Minister "Najib Mikati" denounced the deadly suicide car bomb attack in the northeastern town of Hermel , appealing to Lebanese to unite in the face of rising terrorism.
Prime Minister-designate "Tammam Salam", for his part, described the attack as a “terrorist act" of cowardice.