Lebanon army disarms three rockets near Syria border

AFP , Saturday 30 Nov 2013

Lebanese troops found and disarmed three rockets primed for use in a Sunni Muslim enclave of the mainly Shiite Bekaa valley near the Syrian border, the army said on Saturday.

The An-Nahar newspaper said the military-grade Grad rockets, which were found in the Sunni village of Al-Qaa, were aimed at nearby Hermel, a stronghold of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

The army said military police had opened an investigation.

The conflict in neighbouring Syria has inflamed sectarian tensions in Lebanon, with Hezbollah sending fighters to back President Bashar al-Assad's forces and many Sunnis offering sympathy or support to the rebels.

Al-Qaa and the nearby town of Arsal have been key transit points for arms smuggling by the rebels and for refugees fleeing the fighting.

But the traffic has slowed in recent weeks following a Syrian army offensive on the other side of the border in which it has recaptured a string of towns from the rebels.

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