MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Unidentified gunmen
attacked an army patrol in eastern Lebanon, killing four
soldiers and injuring at least 13 others, Lebanon's Naharnet
news website reported on Monday.
The attack occurred on a highway near the town of Zahle in
the Bekaa Valley, 30 km (19 miles) east of Beirut, when two
mortars were launched at the patrol before they came under
automatic weapon fire.
It is believed that the attack against the Lebanese army
was in revenge for anti-drug raids, which the military has been
conducting in the area.
During the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), the Bekaa
Valley was the agricultural center for growing the opium poppy
and marijuana, as well as a center for narcotics sales. The
valley makes up 40% of Lebanon's arable land. After the war,
the drug business in the Bekaa Valley was almost completely
uprooted; however, it has begun to pick up steam again over the
last few years.