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Overturned munitions truck sparks deadly anti-Hezbollah clash

Two people were killed during a confrontation that erupted in the Christian town of Kahaleh, Lebanon, after residents surrounded the vehicle, demanding to know what was in it.

Lebanese soldiers and Hezbollah fighters taking pictures during a fire that spread from the Lebanese side of the border to the Israeli side of the border in Kibbutz Malkia, northern Israel, July 28, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.
Lebanese soldiers and Hezbollah fighters taking pictures during a fire that spread from the Lebanese side of the border to the Israeli side of the border in Kibbutz Malkia, northern Israel, July 28, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.

The Lebanese army has confirmed that it seized Hezbollah munitions from a truck that overturned in the Christian town of Kahaleh near Beirut on Aug. 9, according to AFP.

The incident has led to deadly clashes between the town’s Christian residents and members of the Shi’ite Muslim terrorist group.

The accident occurred on Wednesday evening east of the Lebanese capital, on a road linking it to the Bekaa Valley, which borders Syria.

Kahaleh mayor Abboud Abi Khalil told AFP that local residents surrounded the truck, demanding to know what was inside, at which point the Hezbollah members who had been escorting it opened fire, killing one of them.

Hezbollah claimed one of its members was shot during the confrontation and later died of his wounds.

The Lebanese terror group released a statement claiming that “armed militiamen” from the area had attacked the escorts in an attempt to seize the truck’s contents, according to to the Alma Research and Education Center.

“They began by throwing rocks, and then opened fire,” according to the statement, which went on to state that intervention by the Lebanese Army had prevented the militiamen from taking control of the vehicle.

The Lebanese Army confirmed on Thursday that two people had been killed and that ammunition had been seized from the truck.

“The cargo … has been transported to a military center, and an investigation has been opened by the competent judicial authorities,” it added.

Hezbollah, which has said it seeks to avoid internal conflicts in Lebanon, considers interference with its weapons convoys, which run along the main arteries from Syria, a red line.

Israel Hayom reported on Sunday that sources close to the terror group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, have expressed concern regarding statements by local villagers that they will block the roads.

Hezbollah warned it has dealt harshly before with those who interfere with its operations, perhaps referring to an Aug. 6, 2021 incident in which Druze villagers seized and beat up Hezbollah fighters who fired rockets towards Israeli forces near their village of Chouaya.

Days later, Hezbollah retaliated by forcibly removing Druze merchants, including a prominent sheikh, from the city of Sidon.

Hezbollah has faced internal opposition in Lebanon for a number of reasons, including fear that the terror group’s actions will cause a military confrontation with Israel.

On Aug. 3, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned Hezbollah not to test the Jewish state, amid ongoing provocations by the Iran-backed terrorist organization in recent weeks.

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