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Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Lebanese army: Shooting in north Lebanon kills 2 soldiers

AP , Sunday 27 Sep 2020
FILE PHOTO Lebanese army soldiers patrol a street at the entrance of the border town of Arsal, in eastern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon June 30, 2017 REUTERS

Gunmen in a car opened fire on an army post in northern Lebanon Sunday, triggering a shootout in which two soldiers and one gunman were killed, the Lebanese military said.

Another gunman fled to an unknown destination, according to an army statement.

The incident accord at an army post in the Minyeh region in north Lebanon. An army operation is underway to arrest the fugitive and uncover the circumstances of the attack, the military said.

The shootout occurred as the army was engaged in a heavy exchange of fire with a group of militants linked to Sunni extremists in northeast Lebanon, close to the border with Syria. The standoff began after Lebanese forces raided a house in the Wadi Khaled area where the group was holed up.

Videos circulating online from the remote area showed the use of rocket propelled grenades in the battle. The Lebanese army sealed off the area and has not commented on the operation.

A security official said the group includes militants linked to one of Lebanon's most wanted extremists, Khaled Tellawi, who was killed earlier this month during a raid in the country's north that also left four Lebanese soldiers dead.

Tellawi was blamed for an attack last month that killed three men in a predominantly Christian northern village. He was described as a member of an extremist group that had links to the Islamic State group. The security official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the operation.

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