LAF opens fire to disperse
crowd, injures one near Arsal

BEIRUT - Lebanese Armed Forces soldiers fired at a crowd of angry people, injuring one of them and arresting five others at a checkpoint near the eastern Beqaa’s Arsal, in one of several incidents reported on Wednesday.


“At 8:00 a.m. a crowd of people gathered close to an army checkpoint in the Wadi al-Hosn area [outside] Arsal and attacked… the soldiers [on guard duty],” read a statement from Army Command.


“The soldiers responded by opening fire to disperse [the crowd], which led to the injury of Lebanese citizen Khaled Ahmad al-Hojeiri. Five of the attackers were also detained.”


The statement added that Hojeiri was transferred to a hospital in Arsal for treatment while the detainees were handed over to the competent authorities.


In a separate incident, the LAF injured another man whos name suggests thathe belongs to the same family as the man identified in Army Command’s statement, and was identified by Lebanon’s state National News Agency as a terror suspect.


According to the NNA, the LAF shot at Mohammad Ahmad al-Hojeiri for refusing orders at the Mabeeda checkpoint, located outside the Beqaa town.


The report added that Hojeiri, who has been linked to terror suspect Sheikh Omar Ibrahim al-Atrash, escaped in to the Arsal Mountains after receiving a light wound to the leg.


Atrash, along with fellow suspects Naim Abbas and Nawwaf Hussein, was charged with running a terrorist network joining the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh in the city of Sidon with Arsal, and is allegedly linked to a number of Al-Qaeda linked groups.


The three men are also accused of carrying out two suicide bombings in Beirut’s suburbs, as well as attacking the Lebanese army and Hezbollah, and firing rockets in to Israel. Atrash reportedly confessed to the charges in January.


In a further and perhaps unrelated incident militants abducted a Lebanese soldier from his farm in the Wadi Hamid area outside Arsal.


The NNA identified the soldier as Kamal Mohammad Khalil al-Hojeiri and added that several cows were also stolen from his farm.


Later on Wednesday, the NNA reported that the LAF had fired illuminating flares over an amusement park in Wadi Hamid after suspicious movements were observed in the area.