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Four killed, 15 injured in Lebanon suicide bombing

BEIRUT -- Four people were killed and 15 wounded Saturday when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at a gas station in Hermel, in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, the nation’s interior minister told NBC News.

The minister, Marwan Charbel, confirmed reports by Lebanon's National News Agency (NNA) on the attack in an area populated mainly by Shiite Muslims and stronghold for supporters of Hezbollah. 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Saturday's blast fit a pattern of attacks by rival sectarian groups on each other's strongholds that has been amplified by Syria's civil war. Another suicide car bomb killed three people in Hermel last month.

A security source told Reuters that the attack occurred near a building housing a charity connected to the late Shiite Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.

Fadlallah was not a member of Hezbollah, which has been the target of increasingly frequent bomb attacks in recent months.

The military and political movement has sent fighters and advisers to aid President Bashar al-Assad, a member of Syria's Alawite minority, in his battle with mainly Sunni rebels.

Reuters contributed to this report.