Lebanon News

Fatah al-Islam militants killed in Syria

FILE - Syrian soldiers patrol a field at the Syrian village Al Msherfeh as seen from the northern Lebanese village of Wadi Khaled. (REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim)

BEIRUT: Two Fatah al-Islam militants who were accused of targeting the Lebanese Army as well as allegedly taking up arms against the Syrian regime were recently killed in Syria, security sources said Monday.

Abdel-Ghani Jawhar and Walid Boustani, two Lebanese members of Al-Qaeda-affiliated Fatah al-Islam militants, were accused of being involved in attacks against the Lebanese Army in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared during the three-month conflict in 2007.

After the Army took full control of Nahr al-Bared, Boustani and at least 200 others militants were arrested and charged with killing Army soldiers in clashes on the outskirts of Tripoli.

A total of 170 Lebanese soldiers, at least 120 militants and more than 200 civilians were killed in the 2007 clashes in Nahr al-Bared.

Boustani escaped from Roumieh prison in 2010. Accompanied by a Syrian inmate, Mounjed al-Fahham, Boustani escaped by climbing down blankets and bed sheets. Shortly after the escape, Fahham was apprehended by the Internal Security Forces while Boustani remained on the run.

According to Al-Jadeed TV, Boustani and Jawhar took part in plotting several other terrorist attacks in other parts of the country. The report also said that the two fled to Syria after spending a year in the southern Palestinian camp of Ain al-Hilweh.

“Following their arrival in Syria they joined the armed uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime,” said Al-Jadeed.

The report added that Jawhar was the mastermind of Fatah al-Islam’s bombings that targeted Lebanese security personnel, including the attempted assassination of former head of ISF Information Branch Lt. Col. Samir Shehadeh in 2006.

Investigations in 2008 also revealed that Jawhar prepared a bomb and detonated it next to a Lebanese Army bus in Tripoli’s Behsas neighborhood in 2008.

Al-Jadeed’s report said that Jawhar died recently in Syria during clashes with the Syrian army and obituary notices were posted in his Lebanese hometown of Bebnin in Akkar.

According to Al-Jadeed report, Boustani was killed by the Free Syrian Army after the FSA officials discovered he was involved in stealing FSA money.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 24, 2012, on page 4.




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