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Lebanon News

Lebanese Army foils militant infiltration attempt

Lebanese soldiers advance towards Arsal, in the eastern Bekaa Valley as part of reinforcements August 5, 2014. (REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah)

HERMEL, Lebanon: The Lebanese Army overnight clashed with gunmen from Syria trying to infiltrate the Bekaa Valley town of Al-Qaa, security sources said Tuesday.

They said about 30 gunmen attempted to enter Al-Qaa through the outskirts of Wadi Rafeq on the town’s outer edge around 10 p.m.

Lebanese troops engaged in a brief armed clash with the infiltrators, the sources told The Daily Star.

They said Lebanese Army artillery opened up against the militant group, forcing them to retreat.

No casualties were reported from the hourlong battle.

The Lebanese Army fought five days of deadly gunbattles with militants in the Bekaa Valley border town of Arsal last month.

Jihadists from ISIS and the Nusra Front are now holding at least 23 soldiers and policemen captive to trade them for Islamist prisoners held at Lebanon’s Roumieh prison.

Meanwhile, the families of the hostages blocked the main northern Batroun-Tripoli highway at Qalamoun, calling for the speedy release of the remaining captives after Nusra Front freed five soldiers Sunday.

 

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