BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Hezbollah, Syrian troops kill Nusra Front commander

A tank of the pro-regime forces is seen during operations to take the control of the surrounding areas of the Rankous plain in the Qalamoun region, April 13, 2014. (AFP/HO/SANA)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah-backed Syrian troops have ambushed a convoy belonging to the Nusra Front, killing a commander responsible for last year's kidnapping of Syrian nuns, a Lebanese security source told The Daily Star Wednesday.

The convoy was headed by Malek al-Tall, a Nusra Front commander, who was killed in the ambush in the Qalamoun, a mountainous region bordering Lebanon.

Al-Tall was allegedly responsible for the abduction of thirteen nuns last year, when the radical rebel group took over the historic Christian town of Maaloula, located on the edge of the rugged Qalamoun region about 60 kilometers northeast of the capital.

Head of Lebanon's General Security Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim played a vital role in the release of the nuns who were freed in May in exchange for dozens of female detainees in Syrian prisons.

Qatar and the Syrian government also played a part in their release.

Hezbollah fighters and Syrian regime troops had launched an offensive earlier this year to root out rebel groups from the Qalamoun region, a strategic area for opposition groups that was used to smuggle gunmen and weapons.

 

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