BEIRUT: The twin attacks on the Lebanese Army Sunday night are an act of suicide, the Army said.
The Army said in a statement that three men approached the checkpoint at the Sidon Awali bridge at 9 p.m., drawing suspicion that prompted soldiers to ask for their IDs.
At this point, the statement added, one of the attackers dashed toward the soldier, waving a hand grenade. The soldier swiftly responded by opening fire on him which led the to the explosion of the grenade.
The attacker was killed instantly and two soldiers were wounded, the statement said.
Another grenade was found in the victim’s pocket and was immediately dismantled by an Army expert, the statement added.
It said the two other assailants managed to escape, adding that investigation is underway to determine whether the Awali attackers are related to the group that attacked a similar checkpoint in Majdalyoun 45 minutes later.
The statement adds that as a result of a random checkpoint set up by the Army in Majdalyoun in the wake of the Awali attack, and while soldiers attempted to search a grey GMC Envoy with three men in it, one of them – Palestinian Bahaeddine al-Sayyed – stepped out of the vehicle and rushed toward Sgt. Samer Rizk, killing the officer and himself. Another soldier was also wounded in the 9:45 p.m. attack.
The statement said soldiers also opened fire toward the Envoy, killing two Lebanese nationals, Mohammad Jamil Zarif and Ibrahim al-Mir.
Soldiers confiscated an explosives-belt that was set to blow up.