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NOW/AFP

Armed men kill three soldiers
in Lebanon near Arsal

The troops were killed in the second such attack outside the town that supports the Syrian revolution

LAF Arsal

Armed men killed three Lebanese soldiers near the Syria border overnight, an official said Tuesday, in the deadliest such attack since the start of the Syrian revolt more than two years ago.

 

Three Lebanese soldiers were killed overnight by a group of gunmen near the Syrian border, the army said on Tuesday, in the deadliest such attack since the start of the Syrian uprising.

 

"Around 3:30 a.m., an army position in the Wadi Hmayyed-Arsal was attacked by an armed group in a black Jeep," an army statement said.

 

"The soldiers at the checkpoint faced off against the attackers, clashes ensued and three soldiers were killed," it added.

 

"Searches are continuing in the area for the armed men who escaped into the neighboring field," the statement said.

 

A security source earlier told AFP the attack had taken place east of Arsal, a town in northeastern Lebanon where most residents support the Syrian uprising.


Lebanon’s state news agency identified the victims as Ali M., Mohammad Sh.D., and Mustafa H.

 

NOW’s correspondent in the Beqaa reported that the assailants fled to Syria following the attack near the border.

 

Meanwhile, a source told LBC television that the attackers “beat up the Lebanese Armed Forces victims and seized their weapons before shooting them in the head.”

 

Arsal’s municipality chief Ali al-Houjairy spoke out on the security incident, denying that the attackers came from his town.

 

“The car from which the attackers opened fire was a Hummer… Arsal residents chased it before it managed to escape.”

 

Following the attack, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati contacted LAF Commander General Jean Qahwaji to follow up on the circumstances of the incident.

 

“The attacks against the LAF will not prevent us from working on preserving security and defending Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence,” Miqati was quoted as saying. 

 

Since the start of the rebellion in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad's regime more than two years ago there have been outbreaks of deadly violence on the Lebanese border.

 

Two Lebanese soldiers were killed in February in Arsal when an army patrol was ambushed while chasing a wanted man. The incident sharply raised tension between residents and the army.

 

Lebanon is sharply divided over the war in Syria and violence and the majority Sunni Muslim village of Arsal is a particular flashpoint as refugees from the uprising and fighters hostile to the Assad regime traverse the border.

 

Three mortar shells fired from Syria on Monday killed at least one woman near the eastern Lebanese town of Hermel, a bastion of the Hezbollah movement, a security official told AFP.

 

Since the start of the Syria conflict in March 2011, a number of rockets and mortar shells have struck Lebanese territory.

 

On two occasions, the rebel Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for the attacks in response to Hezbollah's involvement in their fight to oust the Assad regime.

Lebanese Armed Forces deployed in the border town of Arsal. (AFP)

Three soldiers were killed by armed men while they were in a four-wheel drive vehicle east of Arsal.

  • R.M

    Again... I am still bewildered at how those crimes go unpunished. How can we let murderers get away with such crimes! Our country is corrupted to its core... It's so sad.

    May 28, 2013

  • Hanibaal-Atheos

    Nothing has changed since 1970. Back then, Lebanese army soldiers and policemen would be killed by Palestinian terrorists working for Syria. While the Christians wanted to give the army carte blanche to annihilate the PLO, the Sunnis and the Druse refused to allow the army to defend itself and defend the country. In the end, the country collapsed, the army split along sectarian lines, and Lieutenant Ahamd Khatib, a Sunni deserter, mounted a sedition and began attacking his own Lebanese army barracks in the south, in places like Sidon and Marjeyoun. Today, the same situation: elements that are against Lebanon and against the Lebanese State are allowed to attack and kill army soldiers. And like MAzenfc said, the attackers are protected by a rotten political system. As long as Hezbollah and the myriad other militias and terrorist groups, all acting on behalf of external players like Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran, have a free hand and the army is not allowed to bludgeon them to death once and for all, we are headed to another civil war in this tormented and dysfunctional POS of a country that we call our own.

    May 28, 2013

  • MazenFC

    Shame on you so-called politicians for letting our soldiers die as if they were mere ants! You are their murderers for it because of you and your selfish interests that our army is paralyzed! You would rather have your own militiamen live and our noblemen perish!

    May 28, 2013