BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Hezbollah kills jihadist who trained suicide bombers

This undated photo shows a Hezbollah fighters launching rockets during clashes with Nusra Front militants in the hills surrounding the border province of Qalamoun. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah has killed an ISIS commander allegedly responsible for preparing suicide bombers for attacks in Lebanon, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday.

The activist group reported that a roadside bomb killed Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi when his vehicle passed through Syria’s Qalamoun region, an area bordering Lebanon where Hezbollah is assisting Syrian troops in rooting out rebels. The bombing also killed three other jihadists.

Iraqi was responsible for the suicide attacks that targeted Lebanese areas where Hezbollah enjoyed broad support, the Observatory said.

Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV reported early Tuesday that Iraqi, who was in charge of training suicide bombers and rigging vehicles with explosives, was killed in a Syrian army operation in Qalamoun.

Al-Akhbar newspaper, which is close to Hezbollah, said Iraqi was killed in an operation carried out by Hezbollah and the Syrian army.

The daily said Iraqi had been the ISIS commander in Qalamoun. He was responsible, in addition to training suicide bombers, for a number of car bombings that targeted civilians in Beirut’s southern suburbs and the Bekaa Valley, Al-Akhbar said.

The paper said he had “personally supervised” the purchase of cars from Lebanon before rigging them with explosives in Qalamoun and sending them back to be detonated.

Iraqi had fled Yabroud with a group of loyalists in March after Hezbollah and Syrian government forces recaptured the town, a major rebel stronghold near the Lebanese border, the report said.

It said Hezbollah had kept a close watch on him until they were able to kill him along with his group.

Earlier this year, the Syrian army and Hezbollah regained most of the Qalamoun region, but pockets of opposition fighters, including jihadists, have found refuge there in the mountainous area between Syria and Lebanon.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 20, 2014, on page 3.

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