Blast in Lebanon kills four

A bomb has killed at least four people and injured 15 in the city of Arsal, in the northeastern part of Lebanon, reports state media.

The blast, believed to be a car bomb targeted the Qalamoun Muslim Scholars Committee, an Islamic group mediating between Lebanon security forces and the al-Nusra Front over the fate of kidnapped Lebanese security forces members.

In August 2014, the army arrested a Syrian fighter affiliated with the Islamic State, in Arsal resulting in bloody clashes between IS fighters and the army and the kidnapping of dozens of Lebanese soldiers.

The Bekaa valley, where Arsal is located, is a very strategically important area for the Lebanese army.

Over the last two years, in areas up and down the border, including Arsal, the army has clashed with ISIL, Nusra Front and other Syrian opposition groups seeking to expand into Lebanon.

The Syrian conflict, which began as a peaceful protest in 2011, has led to at least 250,000 deaths, according to the UN.

More than half of Syria’s pre-war population of 22.4 million has been internally displaced or fled abroad.

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Lebanon has experienced periodic bouts of spillover violence.