3 Hezbollah members killed in weapons depot blast

BEIRUT -- A Hezbollah weapons depot exploded in eastern Lebanon on Wednesday, killing three members of the Shiite militant group, according to a report on its TV station.

The report on al-Manar said Hezbollah kept old ammunition and shells left over from battles with Israel in the building near the city of Baalbek.

A senior Lebanese security official said the force of at least three blasts destroyed four-story depot, which appeared to be under construction. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.

Baalbek is located in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon. It's a stronghold of the militant Shiite Hezbollah group, but there are large numbers of criminals involved in arms and drug smuggling known to operate in the area.

Soldiers and Hezbollah members cordoned off the area, blocking access to journalists.

Explosions at a weapons depots belonging to Hezbollah are not uncommon in Lebanon. The group, which fought Israel to a stalemate in a monthlong war in 2006, maintains a formidable arsenal that rivals that of the Lebanese army.