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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Ten hurt in Lebanon gas depot blast

The Red Cross dispatched several teams of rescuers to the village of Al-Qasr (Getty)

Date of publication: 3 January, 2021

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At least 10 people were injured when an explosion rocked a warehouse storing gas canisters near Lebanon's border with Syria, the Lebanese Red Cross and the army said.
At least 10 people were injured Sunday when an explosion rocked a warehouse storing gas canisters near Lebanon's border with Syria, the Lebanese Red Cross and the army said.

The Red Cross said it dispatched several teams of rescuers to the village of Al-Qasr in the eastern Hermel region where the explosion occurred and rushed the injured to hospitals.

"We have responded to an explosion in a warehouse that stores gas canisters. We have responded with three teams. Ten people have been wounded and transported to nearby hospitals," a Red Cross statement said.

A Lebanese army spokesman told AFP the blast was caused by the explosion of gas cannisters in a warehouse.

The region of Hermel is known for its many illegal border crossings into Syria which are used by smugglers to move various types of contraband across the frontier.

Read also: Lebanon's post office releases controversial stamp featuring photo of Beirut explosion

Smuggling takes places both ways, but has been stepped up from Lebanon into Syria since the start of the war there in 2011 and as the country faces a growing economic crisis and international sanctions.

The Shia movement Hezbollah, a key ally of the Syrian government, is often accused by Lebanese media and some political parties of running smuggling operations into Syria to the detriment of Lebanon which is grappling with its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

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