Six Lebanese soldiers killed near Syria border

The Lebanese army earlier reported losing contact with the soldiers near Syria

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At least six Lebanese soldiers were killed on Tuesday in clashes against armed gunmen near the Syrian border, Al Arabiya's correspondent and military sources said.

The soldiers were killed in an ambush on their patrol, the state National News Agency reported.

“Several Lebanese soldiers were martyred in an ambush by armed men on a Lebanese army patrol at Tallet al-Hamra, in the region of Ras Baalbek,” said the official NNA news agency.

Earlier, a military source put the total number of dead at seven.

The ambush came as news emerged that Lebanon detained in the nearby town of Arsal a wife and young son of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group that has seized large parts of Syria and Iraq.

Last month a roadside bomb wounded three Lebanese soldiers near Arsal, where troops in August engaged in fierce combat with jihadists who streamed across the border.

Fighting ended with a truce mediated by clerics, but the jihadists took with them 30 Lebanese army and police hostages.

Three have since been executed, and Qatari-led efforts to free the rest have so far yielded no concrete result.

Lebanon is sharply divided over the war in Syria, and has regularly seen deadly battles linked to the conflict next door.

Most Sunnis support the revolt seeking the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Shiites generally back Damascus and its ally Hezbollah.

[With AFP]

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