Syrian forces killed a Lebanese man and wounded at least two others in a gunfight on the Lebanese-Syrian border on Wednesday, security sources said.
They said the fighting broke out after Syrian security forces intercepted a group of arms smugglers crossing into Syria near the eastern Lebanese town of Arsal in the Bekaa Valley.
The Lebanese National News Agency (NNA) reported that three Lebanese men were injured by gunfire coming from Syrian territory as they were trying to cross the border on the outskirts of the Bekaa town of Arsal.
The NNA statement identified the men as Khatib Mohammad al-Hojeiri, Khodr Mohammad Ezzeddine, and Mohammad Hassan Hamid who “disappeared after the incident.”
The Lebanese Broadcast Cooperation (LBC) television reported that Syrian army troops were “preparing an ambush” inside Arsal for smugglers when a clash erupted between the two sides.
Syrian troops injured three smugglers, killed one and confiscated his body, LBC said, adding that the three men were smuggling diesel.
There have been regular outbreaks of violence along the poorly demarcated and porous frontier between the two countries.
Damascus says weapons and fighters cross into Syria in support of rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, while Lebanese residents have accused Syrian soldiers of repeated infiltrations into Lebanon.
A month ago residents and a doctor in the Lebanese town of al-Qaa said Syrian troops killed a 75-year-old woman and wounded her daughter when they fired across the border.
In April a Lebanese television cameraman was killed by gunfire from Syrian troops across the border, and shells have also landed inside Lebanon in the past.