The newest miltia on the block took its name from the killing of four men in the Bekaa last month and so far, they’ve taken responsibility for Sunday’s assassination attempt on Arsal’s mayor.

But the Four Martyrs Brigade are discerning militants. In this video, they claim the hit on the mayor was partly unsuccessful because they refrained from using rockets and heavy weaponry “for the sake of public safety” and also “because it was Sunday and a holiday.”

Otherwise “we would have burned him. We are not here to play games,” the ring-leader told an Al Jadeed TV news crew.

This is probably not the last we’ll hear of the Four Martyrs. They vow to avenge each of their four namesakes, and the killers will pay dearly for every one.

“I’m not going to tell you how much each of our martyrs is worth,” the ring-leader said.

And the hunt for the mayor will continue: “We want to kill him! If not me, my son and my grandson will continue the path (to revenge). We are tribes. There’s no other way.”

It’s been about a year since the last time tribal violence was in the news, following the very public display of force from the Mekdad clan.

Clan violence has been ongoing in rural Lebanon for as far as I can remember, but the war in Syria gives it a new dimension and media attention. There’s probably a thesis to be written on Bekaa tribal rivalries and transnational conflicts–if it hasn’t already been written.

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