Lebanese army forces have conducted a string of operations across the country and arrested more than 100 illegal Syrian refugees in the wake of recent deadly bombings near the border with crisis-stricken Syria, which killed five people and left nearly two dozen others wounded.
The army said in a statement that the raids were conducted in six areas of the hilly eastern region of Baalbek, including the towns of Taybeh, Younin, Douris, Tal Al-Abyad and al-Hamoudia, early on Tuesday.
It added that 103 Syrian nationals were arrested, and nine unlicensed motorbikes and cars in their possession seized.
The statement came only hours after eight people sustained injuries when three bombers riding motorcycles blew themselves up in the center of the predominantly Christian border village of al-Qaa.
A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one of the bombings struck in front of a local church while two others targeted the municipality building.
Earlier on Monday, five people lost their lives and fifteen others suffered injuries when four bombers targeted the same village. The explosions reportedly struck at 10-minute intervals.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned the bombings in al-Qaa, calling for international efforts to counter terrorist threats.
The world body, in a statement late on Monday, stressed the “need for all States to combat by all means… threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.”
The statement further pointed to the need “to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice” and “to cooperate actively with the Lebanese authorities in these regards.”
The Council said that “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of its motivation and wherever, whenever and by whomsoever it is committed…it should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.”
The statement also underlined the urgent need to “take measures to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, terrorist organizations and individual terrorists, in accordance with resolutions 2199 and 2253” – both issued last year.
Lebanese army forces patrol in front a church in the predominantly Christian village of al-Qaa, in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria, June 27, 2016. (Photo by AP)
Moreover, the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah has cancelled a religious gathering scheduled to be staged in southern Beirut on Tuesday evening for security concerns.
Lebanon has often seen the infiltration of Takfiri elements from neighboring Syria into its territory, where they attack the civilian population or security forces with bombings.
On June 12, a bomb explosion rocked the western part of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, but did not cause any casualties.
Last November, however, more than 40 people were killed and dozens of others wounded after two bombings, claimed by the Takfiri Daesh militants, targeted a security post in the Bourj el-Barajneh area in the southern suburb of the Lebanese capital.