Lebanese army troops take position on the road leading to the northeastern Lebanese town of Arsal in the eastern Bekaa Valley on August 7, 2014
Lebanese army troops take position on the road leading to the northeastern Lebanese town of Arsal in the eastern Bekaa Valley on August 7, 2014 © Joesph Eid - AFP
Lebanese army troops take position on the road leading to the northeastern Lebanese town of Arsal in the eastern Bekaa Valley on August 7, 2014
AFP
Last updated: August 8, 2014

Lebanese army enters Arsal after jihadist clashes

Lebanese troops have started to enter the town of Arsal on the Syrian border, after days of clashes with jihadists there, a military source told AFP on Friday.

"We have started to enter, we've set up a checkpoint on the western side of the city, and we're advancing bit-by-bit," the source said.

"We haven't entered all of the town yet, so we can't say if the gunmen have completely withdrawn," he added.

Municipal council member Wafiq Khalaf confirmed that troops were entering the edge of the town, but had not yet spread throughout.

"They are entering from the outskirts, the situation is quiet. There is no shooting or fighting," he told AFP.

The army advance comes after a truce that saw many of the jihadists who entered the town on Saturday withdraw to the surrounding mountains.

The militants, from several jihadist groups fighting in Syria, attacked army and police posts in the area in eastern Lebanon on Saturday afternoon after the arrest of a man accused of belonging to Al-Qaeda's Syrian branch Al-Nusra Front.

A group of Sunni clerics negotiated a truce under which the militants were to withdraw and release some 19 soldiers and 17 policemen who were taken hostage during the fighting.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272