[QODLink]
Middle East

Lebanese soldiers killed near Syria border

At least three people, including two Lebanese soldiers, have been killed in clashes in the Bekaa Valley.
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2013 20:43

At least two Lebanese soldiers and a man suspected of links to an armed group have been killed during clashes with armed men near a border town with Syria.

"An army patrol was ambushed in the village of Arsal as it hunted a man wanted for several terrorist acts," the army said in a statement on Friday.

It said an army captain and soldier were killed while several others were wounded in the clash with an unspecified number of gunmen, who also sustained casualties.

"A number of military vehicles were badly damaged," the army said, adding that reinforcements were sent to seal off the area and hunt down the suspects.

An AFP correspondent saw ambulances leave Arsal located in Bekaa Valley and head for Baalbek, the main town in eastern Lebanon.

A security source earlier gave a death toll of five soldiers and a gunman for the clash.

The clash broke out after the army entered the area to arrest a man wanted on terrorism and arms smuggling charges, reported Al Jazeera's Rula Amin from Beirut.

Sources told Al Jazeera that the man had been killed during a the army's operation to arrest him, and that armed men had launched a retaliatory raid against the army unit later in the day.

"The army has sent its enforcement to the area, it's a very sensitive area, between Lebanon and Syria. Arsal itself is a town that is very sympathetic to the Syrian revolution. The Free Syrian Army [an armed rebel group] there has a lot of support. And it is known to be an area where it is very easy to smuggle weapons and people," reported Al Jazeera's Amin.

277

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
join our mailing list