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Lebanon army detains Daesh commander near Syria border

Special forces carried out the dawn attack on an Daesh headquarters in the mountainous Arsal

Image Credit: AP
File picture: A Lebanese soldier takes his position overlooking an area controlled by the Daesh group at the edge of the town of Arsal, on the Syrian border, in northeast Lebanon.
Gulf News

Beirut: The Lebanese army said on Friday it had detained a leading local Daesh commander and 10 other members in a raid near the border with Syria.

The army said special forces and other troops carried out the dawn attack on an Daesh headquarters in the mountainous eastern area of Arsal.

“They clashed with (Daesh) fighters with different weapons and managed to break into the headquarters where they captured 11 of them, including the dangerous terrorist and Daesh emir (leader) of Arsal, Ahmad Yousuf Amun,” it added.

The army said Amun was seriously wounded in the operation, and a medical source told AFP he had been transferred to a hospital in Beirut for emergency treatment.

The army said Amun was involved in preparing car bombs used in attacks in various parts of Lebanon, including the southern suburbs of Beirut.

It also accused him of involvement in attacks on army posts during fighting in the region in August 2014 when Daesh and Al Qaida’s Syrian affiliate briefly overran the town of Arsal.

As the militants withdrew, they abducted 30 soldiers and policemen, five of whom were subsequently executed.

The 16 hostages held by Al Qaida’s affiliate, known then as Al Nusra Front, were released in December 2015 after lengthy negotiations, but there has been no progress on the release of the nine held by Daesh.

Lebanon has been rocked by periodic bomb attacks, often targeting strongholds of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which have killed scores of civilians.

Hezbollah has sent fighters to Syria to bolster President Bashar Al Assad’s government against rebel forces.