At least eight suicide bombers, who officials believe were linked to ISIS, attacked the Lebanese Christian village of Qaa today, targeting the area around the local church, and killing at least five people, wounding 28 others.
In the Bekaa Valley along the Syrian border, Qaa is in the area where Islamist factions have launched a number of spillover attacks from the Syrian Civil War. The Lebanese military has been carrying out operations in the area trying to retake territory lost to ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.
This marks the first time ISIS has attacked Christian targets inside Lebanon, as previously the group had mostly attacked the military and Hezbollah compounds. Locals are being urged to remain in their homes if at all possible for the time being, as more attackers can’t be ruled out.
Officials were expecting more attacks in the Bekaa Valley because of the recent military offensive, and because the month of Ramadan is winding down. This is usually a time when Islamist factions look to make big, high-profile attacks.