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Lebanon arrests senior Daesh commander in Arsal

File photo shows a Lebanese army soldier manning a checkpoint at the entrance to Arsal in the Bekaa valley. ©AFP

Lebanon has arrested a senior commander of the Daesh Takfiri group in the country’s northeastern region near the border with Syria, local media report.

Lebanon’s National News Agency said the army detained Sameh al-Breidy in an operation in the strategic town of Arsal on Tuesday.

Lebanese soldiers also raided several Daesh positions in the region.

On April 28, the army killed another senior Daesh commander, named as Nayef Sha’alan, in an operation in Arsal’s Wadi al-Hosn region.

Lebanese soldiers also killed Ahmad Mroueh, one of Sha’alan's bodyguards, during the April offensive and arrested Mohammad Mossali, another Daesh element.

File photo shows Lebanese army soldiers standing guard as ambulances wait near Arsal.©AP

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

Daesh and al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front have been active on the outskirts of Arsal.

The Lebanese army frequently targets the Takfiri groups’ positions in the region to prevent them from creating a powerful base there.

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.

Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah has been assisting the army in the fight against Takfiris in the country’s northern region. The resistance movement has also been helping Syrian army forces in Syria to prevent the spillover of the Syrian crisis into Lebanon.

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