BEIRUT, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- A suicide car bombing hit a gas station in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa town of Hermel on Saturday, leaving five people dead and 18 others injured. The Al Nusra Front in Lebanon has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group, which made the claim on its Twitter account, has also claimed responsibility for a number of other recent attacks targeting Shiite populated areas in Lebanon.
Saturday's bombing occurred shortly after 6 p.m. local time near the Al-Aytam gas station, triggering a big fire.
Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the bombing and called for "national unity to protect our country and our people."
"Once again criminals have targeted a Lebanese region and attacked innocent civilians," Mikati said in a statement by his media office.
Meanwhile, prime minister designate Tammam Salam urged residents of Hermel to "exercise self-restraint despite the painful events they are going through."
"This cowardly terrorist act must be a motivation for local factions to unite and block the road in front of sedition, and to support the army and the security forces that are exerting all needed efforts to prosecute perpetrator and bring them to justice. "
Hermel, which is considered the heartland of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, has recently been targeted by a wave of rocket attacks from the Syria.
On Jan. 16, a car bomb near an army barrack in Hermel killed three people and injured more than 15 others.
Shiite-populated areas in Lebanon have suffered a series of terror attacks after Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced last May that his Shiite party was fighting on behalf of the Syrian government in the civil war raging in neighboring Syria.
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday strongly condemned a deadly car bombing in northeastern Lebanon, saying "the recent escalation in acts of terrorism and violence in Lebanon is of grave concern."
"The secretary-general strongly condemns the car bombing today in the area of Hermel in north-eastern Lebanon that has killed and wounded several people," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesman. Full story