Lebanese army deployed near the Syrian border to fight Sunni militants 0508141

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Defence & Security News - Lebanon

 
 
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 10:04 AM
 
Lebanese army deployed near the Syrian border to fight Sunni militants.
Lebanon is mobilizing all of its political forces and security agencies to fight Sunni militants allegedly from Syria in the north-eastern town of Arsal as the country faces "flagrant aggression," the government announced Monday, August 4, 2014.
     
Lebanon is mobilizing all of its political forces and security agencies to fight Sunni militants allegedly from Syria in the north-eastern town of Arsal as the country faces "flagrant aggression," the government announced Monday, August 4, 2014.
Lebanese army soldiers prepare to deploy towards Arsal, near the Syrian border in eastern Lebanon, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. (The Daily Star/ Mohammad Azakir)
     
On Saturday, clashes erupted in Arsal between the Lebanese army and alleged Syrian gunmen who crossed into the border town following the arrest of Imad Jomaa, a Syrian national accused of being a top leader of al-Qaida's Syrian branch al-Nusra Front.

According to a Lebaon army communique on Monday, 14 soldiers have been killed and 86 others wounded since the eruption of the clashes, while 22 troops have gone missing.

The army command said also that at least 3 civilians have also been killed by the gunmen, adding that it was searching for the missing military persons.

Soldiers advancing into Arsal found the bodies of 50 militants, a security official said. A cleric in Arsal said at least 50 civilians were dead and more were buried in rubble.

Rebels said dozens of fighters from Syria's Qalamoun area just across the border had moved to Arsal on Sunday to reinforce gunmen there. Syrian warplanes repeatedly struck the nearby mountainous border area used by the militants to access Arsal.

The army continues to hunt down the remaining extremists in Arsal's outskirts while sending reinforcements to its front outposts.

The Lebanon Army said it deployed reinforcements and strengthened its posts in the town with dozens of Armored Personnel Carriers seen entering Arsal, where thousands of militants poured in Saturday afternoon.

 

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