4 Lebanese Shiites killed in ambush near Syria

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FILE -- Sunni protesters wave Islamist flags while others chant slogans at an anti-government rally in Fallujah, Iraq, Friday, May 3, 2013. The leader of al-Qaida's Iraq arm, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, defiantly rejected an order from the terror network's global command to scrap a merger with the organization's Syria affiliate, according to a message purporting to be from Al-Baghdadi that was posted online Saturday, June 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Bilal Fawzi, File)

BEIRUT (AP) — Security officials say four Lebanese Shiite Muslim men have been killed in an ambush in northeastern Lebanon.

It was not immediately clear how they were killed or what the motive was. The ambush comes during sectarian tensions in the region, largely related to the Syrian civil war.

The officials said the four were found dead in a mountainous area near Ras Baalbek Sunday. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Following news of their killing, gunmen deployed in the area, cutting roads and protesting.

Sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in Lebanon are high. They have worsened after the Shiite Iranian-backed Hezbollah joined the fight in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad.

Most Sunnis in Lebanon support the overwhelmingly Sunni rebels fighting to oust Assad.