Explosion Rips Through Hezbollah Member's Home

By: Zeina Karam - AP Writer
By: Zeina Karam - AP Writer

An explosion ripped through the garage of a Hezbollah member's home in southern Lebanon on Monday, and security officials said the building might have been used to store weapons.

One senior security official said the blast killed one person, but the other officials could not confirm that. The Hezbollah militant group that holds sway in the south said no one was killed but one person was wounded.

The explosion occurred in the village of Tayr Filsay near the port city of Tyre, about six miles (10 kilometers) from the border with Israel, said the security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.

Photographers allowed inside the two-story home said it appeared to have been under construction and that its garage appeared to be blackened by a fire.

A July explosion in an abandoned building in another southern village was said to have been caused by a fire in a secret Hezbollah arms depot. The group said at the time that the building housed ammunition leftover from Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

That incident raised tension along the border with Israel, which called it a violation of a U.N. resolution that ended the monthlong 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. The resolution prohibits the militants from engaging in military activity in south Lebanon and forbids the smuggling of weapons to the group.

But Hezbollah fighters are believed to continue to have a clandestine presence in the area.

Monday's explosion occurred in that area of Lebanon.

Hezbollah said in a statement on the Web site of its Al-Manar TV station that an investigation was under way to determine the cause of the blast, which it said took place in the garage of a home belonging to one of its members.

Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim Mussawi said one person was wounded.

A spokeswoman for the U.N. force, Yasmina Bouziane, said it was in touch with the Lebanese army "to try and confirm the circumstances of the explosion."

The Lebanese army issued a statement saying an Israeli reconnaissance plane flew over south Lebanon earlier Monday, but made no mention of the explosion, according to the state news agency report. Israeli planes regularly fly into Lebanese airspace in violation of the U.N. resolution.


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