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Lebanese troops kill Daesh leader on Syria border, reports say

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Lebanese army soldiers flash victory signs while in an armored personnel carrier as reinforcements arrive to the outskirts of Arsal, northeastern Lebanon. ©AP

Lebanese forces have killed a leader of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in the country’s northeast near the border with war-wracked Syria, reports say.

The Lebanese army operation was conducted in the strategic town of Arsal on Thursday.

The Daesh leader was named as Nayif al-Shaalaan, while state media said he also went by the name Abu Fawz.

An unnamed security source identified the man as a senior Daesh member.

The Lebanese army also killed one of Shaalaan's bodyguards and arrested another Daesh element during the operation.

Lebanon is suffering from the spillover of militancy in neighboring Syria, where foreign-backed terrorists have been fighting government forces since 2011. 

Daesh and al-Nusra Front, which is the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, have been active on the outskirts of Arsal.

A Lebanese army soldier, who was captured by militants in Arsal, celebrates with his relatives and friends after his release in Chehim, Mount Lebanon Province, Lebanon, August 31, 2014. ©AP

The militants briefly overran Arsal in August 2014, taking several Lebanese army and police forces hostage, some of whom were executed. In December last year, most of the captives were released as part of a prisoner swap deal.

Assisting Syrian army forces, fighters with the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement have thwarted several Daesh attacks.

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