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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, May 25, 2018

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Lebanon on alert to head off jihadist offensive spillover

Lebanese security forces stepped up their alertness on borders

Share on Facebook June 15, 2014, Reporter : The Daily Star, Reader : 508

The Army has stepped up patrols around Arsal (Photo: The Daily Star news

HERMEL, Lebanon: Lebanese political and security authorities are carefully eyeing dramatic developments in Iraq, and have adopted a series of preventive measures to avoid ripples of the conflict being felt here, security sources told The Daily Star Saturday.
The Lebanese Army continued on Saturday patrols it started one day before of the border area in search of gunmen and terror suspects, the sources said.
Most gunmen have fled the Rankous area in Syria, where regime forces are tightening their grip, to the hills and valleys that separate Lebanon from its biggest neighbor.
The sources revealed that the fleeing gunmen have ambushed a Hezbollah force killing six of its members earlier this week. "In addition to the attack on Hezbollah, the fleeing fighters have carried out several kidnap-for-ransom operations to secure money for their livelihoods," one source said. "This has prompted the army to carry out a preemptive operation to limit the infiltration of fighters into Lebanese territories."
Two Syrian camps in the border town of Arsal - a favorite refuge spot for fighters coming from Syria- are currently under the close watch of the Lebanese Army, the source added.
As-Safir newspaper reported in its Saturday issue that Lebanese security agencies have taken “exceptional measures” in the last 48 hours after receiving information that “sleeper cells” affiliated with the Al-Qaeda inspired Abdallah Azzam Brigades are planning operations in Lebanon that would plunge the country back into grimmer times
The major military gains made by militants from the Al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) have sent shockwaves across the political landscape in Lebanon, which is already suffering from a bloody spillover of Syria’s civil war.
According to As-Safir, Lebanese security forces stepped up their alertness on Lebanese borders, especially in zones considered hot spots, and around some Palestinian refugee camps. Security agencies will also intensify meetings next week to decide on more preventive measures.> Read more

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