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3 Lebanese fighters killed in Syria, 36 others missing
File photo of female Muslim relatives of men from Tripoli who were killed in the Syrian border town of Tal Kalakh late in 2012. (The Daily Star)
File photo of female Muslim relatives of men from Tripoli who were killed in the Syrian border town of Tal Kalakh late in 2012. (The Daily Star)
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TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Three fighters from the northern city of Tripoli were killed in Syria and the status of 36 other Lebanese fighters remain unknown, a security source told The Daily Star Friday.

The source identified the victims as Hani Barakat, Hussein al-Mansour and Issam Maarabani. The three men were buried in Syria, added the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Families of 36 men from Tripoli also reported they had lost all contact with their sons, who are in their twenties, since they left to fight in Syria some two weeks ago, the security source said.

It wasn't clear when or where the men were killed. Numbers of Salafist fighters from north Lebanon have joined Syrian rebels in their fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Fighting has recently raged near border towns with reports of Lebanese parties participating.

Recent fighting in the border town of Qusayr, with reports of Hezbollah participating, prompted a number of calls for militant jihad by radical Sunni preachers in Lebanon. The preachers called for young men to fight against the regime in Syria and they held enlistment drives. Many other parties are also now publicly supporting their favored side in Syria as the conflict has worn on.

Late last year a group of more than 20 Lebanese men were killed in an ambush by regime forces in the Syrian town of Tal Kalakh, near the border with Lebanon.

“There is not a single word from them,” the source said about the missing Lebanese.

Media reports Thursday said at least two Lebanese fighters from Tripoli were killed in the Syrian border town of Qusair.

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