Lebanon News

8 soldiers dead, 22 wounded as Lebanon border battle ends

Lebanese Army tanks deploy to the northeastern town of Ras Baalbek during clashes on the outskirts of the town with Islamist militants, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)

BEIRUT: The Army discovered three more bodies Saturday of soldiers killed during intense fighting with jihadi militants the day before, bringing its death toll to eight, a security source said.

Another 22 soldiers were wounded in the day-long clashes with ISIS militants.

More than 40 militants were also discovered in the rugged outskirts of Ras Baalbek, most of whom were killed in Army airstrikes on a vehicle convoy.

The Army fought for more than 16 hours Friday, using heavy artillery and helicopter gunships to ward off a surprise attack by militants who briefly overran the Tallet al-Hamra military post in an early-morning ambush.

The military announced later in the day that it had taken control of the area as it pounded militant gatherings and roads they were using to retreat further into the outskirts.

In a late-Friday statement, the Army announced the deaths of five soldiers. Three more were discovered overnight after the clashes ended.

The Army confirmed the death of the soldiers discovered Saturday in an afternoon statement.

The Army was continuing to comb the area Saturday.

Friday's clashes were the Army's deadliest since a four-day battle with militants in Tripoli and other parts of the north in October, which killed 11 soldiers, eight civilians and 23 gunmen.

The Army also clashed with militants near the site of Friday's attack early last month after militants ambushed a military convoy, killing six soldiers and wounding one.

 

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