Relatives of soldier Khaldoon Raouf Hamoud mourn during his funeral in Akbeh, Rashaya. REUTERS/Shawky Haj
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The Lebanese Army will have to conduct grueling counter-insurgency operations to remove militants from the embattled town of Arsal, while imposing new security measures to identify militants hiding among refugees, analysts and experts have said.They also warned against recurring attacks targeting the Army, saying it must be offered the necessary political support to bring peace to the northeastern border with Syria. Mario Abou Zeid, a Lebanon expert at the Carnegie Middle East Center, said the attacks against the Lebanese Army were part of an effort to turn Arsal into a safe haven for fighters fleeing from Syria who wished to regroup and return.The aim was to isolate the Army from Arsal. Nizar Abdel Qader, a retired Army general, said the military's response to the situation had been effective but the Army faced a "complicated operation" in now having to remove militant fighters from Arsal.
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