Lebanese soldiers patrol the area in Brital, Thursday, April 10, 2014. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)
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The Lebanese Army Thursday began implementing a security plan in the Bekaa Valley, raiding locations in the eastern town of Brital, notorious for being off-limits to authorities, in search for wanted individuals, including abduction gangs and drug dealers.Three Army helicopters flew over Brital and the town's mountainous outskirts as well as illegal crossings as troops, backed by armored military vehicles, staged raids that resulted in the arrest of at least four wanted men, two Lebanese and two Syrians, security sources said. The military campaign in Brital effectively unleashed a government security plan for the northern Bekaa Valley region and came more than a week after a similar plan was successfully enforced by the Army to end sectarian fighting in the northern city of Tripoli. Army units deployed heavily in Brital and Baalbek in the early hours of the morning, carrying 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 Valley. Residents in Brital expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the security plan in the Bekaa Valley, hoping the Army's measures would help defuse tensions in the region.
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