BEIRUT: At least 32 Nusra Front gunmen were killed in east Lebanon in a weekend ambush sprung by Hezbollah fighters, a senior security source said Monday, adding that a member of the Lebanese group was also killed in ensuing fighting.
The ambush took place early Saturday in Wadi al-Jamala, on the outskirts of Nahle, a rugged mountainous area along the porous border between Lebanon and Syria, the source said.
The gunmen were making their way into Lebanon through an illegal border crossing, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
The bodies of the slain Nusra Front fighters are in Hezbollah’s possession, the source added.
A source close to the party identified Ali Dergham Fares as the slain Hezbollah fighter, adding that another party member was wounded in the clashes.
Saturday’s ambush is the second deadly encounter on Lebanese soil between Hezbollah, which backs the Damascus regime, and Syrian rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad.
In June, the Lebanese group ambushed a group of Syrian rebels in Ain al-Jawzeh, three kilometers east of Baalbek, killing 12 Syrian opposition fighters.
Separately, the senior security source said a Hezbollah fighter was killed in the ongoing fighting in the Qalamoun region between Assad loyalist forces and rebel groups.