HERMEL, Lebanon: The Lebanese Army Thursday began implementing a security plan in the Bekaa, raiding locations in the eastern town of Brital, notorious for being off limits to law enforcement agencies, in search for wanted individuals and abduction rings.
The National News Agency said Internal Security Forces Information Branch apprehended two Syrians suspected of involvement in last month's kidnapping of a nine-year-old boy.
The men were identified as Ismail Ali Hussein and Imad Youssef Soueid, the state-run agency said.
In the early hours of the morning, Army units deployed heavily in Brital and Baalbek and carried out raids to apprehend kidnapping suspects and car thieves, a security source told The Daily Star.
The source said most of the most wanted individuals have already fled the town after the government expanded a successful security plan in Tripoli and Akkar to the Bekaa.
Some of the vehicles used in car bombings over the past year were stolen from their original owners by car thieves with links to Brital. The vehicles were later sold to armed groups who rigged and detonated them, killing scores throughout the country.
Most of the kidnappers who have been accused of abducting children and other individuals are also said to reside in Brital.
Media reports said the Army raided the residence of Maher Tleis, wanted on several arrest warrants, including for kidnapping.
Hezbollah also handed over control of checkpoints in the north, on the highway linking Baalbek and Hermel, as part of the crackdown, approved by the government last month to restore law and order in several regions plagued by the crisis in Syria.