BEIRUT (AFP) – A roadside bomb struck a Lebanese army vehicle on Friday, wounding three soldiers near the flashpoint town of Arsal on the border with Syria, the military said.
After the blast unidentified gunmen on the outskirts of Arsal opened fire on the troops, who shot back, the army added.
“At around 9am (0700 GMT) an explosive device hit a military vehicle as it was patrolling around the town of Arsal. The device was planted on the side of the road. Three troops, among them an officer, were wounded,” it said in a statement.
In August, the Sunni town of Arsal saw a fierce battle pitting the army against militants who streamed in from Syria across the Lebanese border.
Fighting ended with a truce mediated by local clerics, but the militants took with them 30 Lebanese army and police hostages. Three have since been executed, and Qatari-mediated efforts to free the rest have so far yielded no concrete result.
Lebanon is sharply divided over the war in neighbouring Syria, and has regularly seen deadly battles linked to the conflict next door.