Two gunmen killed in Ersal in clash with Lebanese army

Lebanese soldiers are deployed on a road at the entrance of the village of Arsal, on the border with Syria, on 2 February 2013 (Photo: AFP - STR)

Published Thursday, June 6, 2013

Two gunmen were killed Wednesday night by the Lebanese army after an armed group attacked a checkpoint in Ersal, a statement issued by the Lebanese Army Forces said.

A group of unidentified armed men driving a pickup truck ambushed the army checkpoint at 10:00 pm, the statement said, leading to an exchange of fire between both sides.

Lebanese soldiers shot two of the attackers – including one Syrian national – dead while the rest of the group escaped to an unknown location.

The army took the pick up truck loaded with guns and ammunition into custody from Ersal, a village located in the Bekaa valley.

Another confrontation between armed men and the army occurred at 2:30 am at the same checkpoint, causing no casualties.

A similar attack on the Ersal checkpoint left three soldiers dead on May 28, after gunmen ambushed the military checkpoint at 3:00 am and fled to an unknown destination.

Government commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Mashhour Abdel Mawla Rifai, the man accused of the premeditated attack on May 28 against the military checkpoint, the Lebanese National News Agency reported.

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

(Al-Akhbar)

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