Lebanon's Hezbollah has announced the deaths of three of its fighters in a series of blasts at a weapons-storage depot in the country's eastern Bekaa Valley.

A Lebanese security official had previously said that at least nine people were killed in Wednesday's explosions, including four Syrian workers.

"Sources from the resistance [Hezbollah] reported that a blast took place in an arms depot of shells, ammunition and remnants of Israel's shelling in the area," Hezbollah, the powerful Shia Muslim group, said in a statement carried by its television channel, Al-Manar.

"This unfortunate blast led to the martyrdom of three fighters.


"Work is continuing in order to deal with the accident, in co-ordination with the relevant agencies."

Earlier, a Lebanese security official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said that a series of blasts killed at least nine people and wounded seven.

Among the wounded, according to the official, were four Syrian workers, though the Hezbollah statement did not mention them.

The Associated Press news agency said three explosions killed two people and wounded two others.

Residents said several people were wounded when an arms stockpile exploded in a building under construction in an uninhabited area between the villages of Nabishit and Khodr.

Dozens of ambulances arrived at the scene as members of Hezbollah surrounded the area, they told AFP.

Hezbollah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel, has a huge arsenal of tens of thousands of rockets, which it says it needs to retain in case of a renewed conflict.

Hezbollah and its allies, which lead Lebanon's governing coalition, support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his 18-month battle against rebels seeking to topple him.

The Lebanese opposition is bitterly opposed to the Damascus regime.

Source: Agencies