The Lebanese army has dismantled a terrorist cell linked to the Daesh Takfiri group before it could carry out acts of terror in the Arab country.
“The terrorist cell members were arrested in a series of security operations in the north and Bekaa regions on different dates, and it was found that they had received military training and were in possession of weapons and ammunition, which were confiscated from them” the army said in a statement on Saturday.
The commander of the cell was identified as Khaled Tellawi, it said.
According to the statement, the terror outfit were involved in an incident in the northern village of Kaftoun in August, when unidentified gunmen killed three people, including two police officers.
The two policemen and a civilian were shot after they stopped a suspicious vehicle on the outskirts of the village for violating a curfew brought in in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The vehicle was later found abandoned, containing a gun with a silencer, a small explosive device and electrical wire.
The army's statement said that the vehicle belonged to the cell’s commander Tellawi, who is still at large.
“The dismantling of this cell comes within the framework of pre-emptive operations and constant surveillance of terrorist organizations and cells associated with them,” said the army statement.
Lebanon has often seen the infiltration of Takfiri elements from neighboring Syria into its territory, where they target the civilian population or security forces with bombings.
Back in August 2014, members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as Nusra Front, and Daesh terrorist groups overran the town of Arsal, located 124 kilometers northeast of Beirut, killing a number of Lebanese forces. They also took 30 soldiers hostage, most of whom have been released.
Since then, Hezbollah resistance fighters and Lebanese military forces have been defending Lebanon on the country’s northeastern frontier against foreign-backed terrorist groups from Syria.
Hezbollah fighters have fended off several Daesh attacks inside Lebanon. They have also been providing assistance to Syrian army forces to counter the ongoing foreign-sponsored militancy.