Lebanon: Roadside bomb wounds 2 near Syrian border

July 16, 2013
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In this image taken from leaked video obtained by Ugarit News and posted on Monday, July 15, 2013, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, purports to show forces loyal to President Bashar Assad firing rockets into Homs, Syria. After seizing the momentum in recent months in Syria's civil war, President Bashar Assad's forces are on the offensive against the rebels on several fronts, including in Idlib province along the border with Turkey. Government forces are in firm control of the provincial capital of same name, while dozens of rebel brigades control the countryside.(AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

BEIRUT (AP) — A roadside bomb struck a jeep traveling on a main road near the Lebanese border with Syria Tuesday, wounding two people, Lebanon's state news agency said.

It was not immediately clear who was in the vehicle or whether it was an assassination attempt.

Lebanon, long troubled by Syria's civil war and its potential overwhelm its smaller neighbor, has been on edge since a powerful car bomb last Tuesday in a stronghold of the Shiite militant Hezbollah group in Beirut's southern suburbs wounded 53 people.

Sunni-Shiite tensions have risen sharply in Lebanon, particularly since the Hezbollah raised its profile by openly fighting alongside President Bashar Assad's forces in Syria. Most of Lebanese Sunni Muslims support the overwhelmingly Sunni uprising against Assad in Syria.

Lebanon's National News Agency said the roadside bomb struck a jeep traveling on the main Majdal Anjar road near the border with Syria, wounding two people.

The explosion occurred on the main road leading from Lebanon to the capital Damascus, and about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the Masnaa border crossing. The road is frequented by Hezbollah security officials and other Lebanese officials headed to the Syrian capital.

Lebanese security officials said the bomb appeared to have been detonated remotely. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

There have been growing fears in Lebanon that Hezbollah could face retaliation for its now overt role fighting alongside Assad's troops.

The group's fighters played a key role in a recent regime victory to retake control of the strategic town of Qusair, near the Lebanese border, where rebels held sway for more than a year. Syrian activists say Hezbollah fighters are now aiding a regime offensive in the besieged city of Homs.

The July 9 car bombing in the heart of Hezbollah's bastion of support considerably raised the stakes in Lebanon, providing the most troubling sign yet that Syria's civil war is beginning to consume Lebanon.