Lebanon says 9 Daesh-linked suspects killed in hunt for ‘terrorists’

A Lebanese soldier, wearing a protective mask and gloves, stands guard at the Beirut international airport on April 5, 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 September 2020

Lebanon says 9 Daesh-linked suspects killed in hunt for ‘terrorists’

  • Saturday’s operation came more than a month after the army and security forces launched a manhunt for suspects in the August 21
  • Police intelligence units raided a house in the northern region of Wadi Khaled

BEIRUT: Lebanese police have killed nine suspected members of the Daesh group in the hunt for “terrorists” linked to several deadly attacks, including on soldiers, a security source said Sunday.
Saturday’s operation came more than a month after the army and security forces launched a manhunt for suspects in the August 21 killing of two municipal policemen and the son of the mayor of the northern village of Kaftoun.
Police intelligence units raided a house in the northern region of Wadi Khaled where “suspects linked to the Daesh” had been holed up, “killing all the terrorists inside,” the Internal Security Forces (ISF) said in a statement.
A security source said “at least nine members of the group were killed.”
But the source said the death toll could rise as more bodies could be buried under the rubble of the house, part of which was blown up during the police operation.
The ISF statement said the “terrorist cell” was made up of more than 15 suspects. It added that three had been arrested in previous raids.
Following the August murders in Kaftoun, the army and police launched operations to track down the assailants.
On September 14, the army said four soldiers were killed while attempting to arrest suspected “terrorist” Khaled Al-Tallawi at his north Lebanon home, though he was eventually shot dead.
Meanwhile, two Lebanese soldiers were killed overnight in an attack on an army post in the locality of Arman-Minyeh, also in the north of the country, the army said Sunday.
“Two soldiers were killed, in addition to one terrorist,” it said in a statement.
An attacker “riding a motorbike tried to enter the army post, and army members confronted him, killing him instantly,” it added.
They found grenades and an explosives belt on him, the last of which it said “he had intended to detonate inside the post.”
Wadi Khaled and the Arman-Miniyeh region are near second city Tripoli, which has been rocked by violence involving Islamists over the years, including as part of the fallout from the conflict in Syria.


Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

Updated 8 min 28 sec ago

Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

  • Hariri immediately promised a government of technocrats committed to a French-backed reform plan
  • He has previously led three governments in Lebanon

BEIRUT: Three-time Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri was named to the post for a fourth time Thursday and immediately promised a government of technocrats committed to a French-backed reform plan.
Hariri said he would “form a cabinet of non politically aligned experts with the mission of economic, financial and administrative reforms contained in the French initiative roadmap.”
“I will work on forming a government quickly because time is running out and this is the only and last chance facing our country,” he added.
President Michel Aoun named Hariri to form a new cabinet to lift the country out of crisis after most parliamentary blocs backed his nomination.
Hariri, who has previously led three governments in Lebanon, stepped down almost a year ago under pressure from unprecedented protests against the political class.
“The president summoned... Saad Al-Deen Al-Hariri to task him with forming a government,” a spokesman for the presidency said.
Hariri was backed by a majority of 65 lawmakers, while 53 abstained.
Lebanon is grappling with its worst economic crisis in decades and still reeling from a devastating port blast that killed more than 200 people and ravaged large parts of Beirut in August.
Aoun warned Wednesday that the new prime minister, the third in a year, would have to spearhead reforms and battle corruption.
A relatively unknown diplomat, Mustapha Adib, had been nominated in late August following the resignation of his predecessor Hassan Diab’s government in the aftermath of the deadly port blast.
Adib had vowed to form a cabinet of experts, in line with conditions set by French President Emmanuel Macron to help rescue the corruption-ridden country from its worst ever economic crisis.
He faced resistance from some of the main parties however and threw in the towel nearly a month later, leaving Lebanon rudderless to face soaring poverty and the aftermath of its worst peacetime disaster.