Lebanon News

Clashes erupt between Army, gunmen in Tripoli

FILE - Lebanese army soldiers patrol a street in a military vehicle near the Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, May 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim)

BEIRUT: Clashes erupted Friday night between the Army and gunmen in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, killing a militant leader and slightly wounding two soldiers, an security sources said.

Security sources told The Daily Star that a shootout erupted after about 20 militants attacked an Army post in the neighborhood of Khan al-Askar around 8:30 p.m.

The militants then withdrew from the neighborhood and headed towards the old souks, slipping through small alleyways that cannot be accessed by armored vehicles, the sources said.

The Army quickly deployed reinforcements to surround the gunmen in the old souks. Soldiers closed roads leading to the Bab al-Raml neighborhood, near the site of the fighting.

An Army source said two soldiers were slightly wounded in the attack, but he could not provide a casualty toll for the militants.

Other security sources said the militant leader was killed.

The clashes ended after about an hour, but soldiers continued to hunt down militants in the area.

According to information, the gunmen launched the attack after hearing rumors that a suspected ISIS militant arrested Thursday morning in north Lebanon had died in custody.

The Army raided a suspected militant hideout in the Dinnieh region Thursday morning, killing three men and capturing Ahmad Salim Mikati.

Security sources said Friday that Mikati admitted to belonging to ISIS and was plotting to kidnap soldiers.

Mikati's nephew, Bilal Mikati, was allegedly involved in the beheading of Lebanese captive soldier Ali Sayyed in late-August.

 

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