Lebanese army takes Hezbollah truck containing munitions after 2 die in clashes

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s army moved a truck that had carried Hezbollah munitions from the road where it crashed to a military post early Thursday after clashes at the scene killed two people.

The truck overturned on a mountain road near the Lebanese capital in the Christian town of Kahaleh on Wednesday, on the highway that links Beirut to the eastern Bekaa Valley. Lebanese troops immediately cordoned off the truck filled with large boxes, which residents suspected belonged to the Iran-backed militant group.

Two people died in brief clashes after the truck overturned.

The army confirmed the truck held munitions, but its brief statement did not say what the munitions were or who owned them. It did not mention Hezbollah and said an investigation is ongoing over the clashes.

However, Hezbollah said in its statement that the truck belonged to them without saying whether it had weapons inside it. It said local gunmen attacked people in the truck, leading to an exchange of fire that fatally wounded one Hezbollah member “who was protecting the truck.”

Meanwhile, Kahaleh residents in a statement said one resident was killed when armed men opened fire, but did not include any details.

Residents tried to stop the army from taking the truck before seeing what was inside it and occasionally scuffled with troops.

The army brought in a crane that moved the boxes into an army truck that drove in the direction of Beirut, reportedly heading to the Defense Ministry just a few kilometers (miles) away. The army closed the road until they were able to transport the truck at dawn.

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