BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army said Friday that it seized material used to make explosive belts during a raid in north Lebanon.
In a statement, the military said detainee Mahmoud Khaled confessed to stashing several rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition underground on his property in Fnaydeq.
The Army then raided the location and confiscated "explosive material, RPGs, in addition to large quantity of metal balls used to make explosive belts."
On Wednesday, the military said it confiscated a number of mortar bombs and dynamite sticks during a similar raid in Fnaydeq.
The Army raid on the home of Mohammad Kanaan resulted in the seizure of 42 dynamite sticks, 34 mortar bombs, 14 mortar propellant charges and 36 hand grenade detonators.
Lebanon has been on high alert after three suicide bombings in less than a week rattled the country and raised concerns of a return to the series of deadly attacks that occurred last year and early this year.
Earlier this week, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a Beirut hotel to evade arrest during a raid by security forces. A would-be suicide bomber survived the blast that wounded 11 people including three General Security personnel.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Samir Moqbel praised the Army for its work in combating terrorism, saying turmoil in Lebanon and its surroundings required politicians and people to support their military institutions.
“Amid such critical times in the region and Lebanon, Lebanese look to the Army to enforce their security and stability and keep away the ghost of terrorist attacks against civilians and military personnel,” Moqbel said in a statement.
“They also look to their political groups to elect a new president and revitalize the work of institutions so that security forces can do their job to the fullest under a political umbrella.”
Despite political and security circumstances, Moqel said, the Army and its intelligence were able to uncover several terror cells and foil terrorist attacks.
“Stability requires us to stand behind the Army,” he said. “It is thus surprising that some would incite provocations against the Army despite its sacrifices and hard work to combat terrorism.”