Lebanon foils suicide plot, arrests three

Lebanese Army soldiers inspect a cafe where a suicide bomb attack took place in Jabal Mohsen, Tripoli Jan. 11, 2015. (Reuters)

The Lebanese army said it had arrested three people suspected of planning suicide attacks in the country, days after two suicide bombers killed at least eight people in a cafe in the northern city of Tripoli.

The army said in a statement on Thursday that an investigation showed the three suspects, two Lebanese and a Syrian, had been trained in neighboring Syria. It said they had pledged loyalty to terrorist groups, a term Lebanon uses to describe Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's wing in Syria, and Islamic State.

“They were preparing to carry out terrorist attacks targeting army centers and residential areas,” the statement said.

Lebanon's security has been jolted repeatedly by the civil war in Syria, which has also helped paralyze its government: the country has been without a head of state since May.

Militants linked to Islamic State and the Nusra Front mounted an attack on the Lebanese border town of Arsal last August. They are still holding around two dozen members of the security forces taken captive in that incursion.

In a separate statement the army said it had discovered a car loaded with 120 kg (265 lb) of explosives in the outskirts of Arsal and that an army expert was working on dismantling it.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46