A child was killed and seven Lebanese soldiers wounded on Friday when five militants blew themselves up and a sixth threw a grenade during raids on two refugee camps near the Syrian border, the army said.
The civil war, which has raged in Syria since March 2011, has triggered an exodus of more than 1.1 million refugees into neighboring Lebanon and has repeatedly spilt over. Four of the suicide bombers struck in the Al-Nur camp near the border town of Arsal, the army said.
A young girl, whose parents are both refugees, was killed and three soldiers wounded, the army said. A medical source in the provincial capital Baalbek said the girl was two and a half years old. Troops recovered four explosive devices.
During a raid on another camp near Arsal – Al-Qariya – one militant blew himself up and a second threw a grenade at troops, wounding four of them.
Aim of the raid
The raids, which are aimed at “arresting terrorists and seizing weapons,” were still continuing in mid-morning, the army command said. A military source told AFP that troops made a number of arrests.
“The objective of the operation was to arrest a wanted man and it was this man who was the first to blow himself up," the source said. There have been multiple clashes along the border between the Lebanese army and ISIS militants or al-Qaeda.
In August 2014, the army clashed with ISIS militants and al-Qaeda’s then Syria affiliate al-Nusra Front in the Arsal region, with militants kidnapping 30 Lebanese soldiers and policemen as they withdrew back along the border.
The militants executed four of their hostages while a fifth died of wounds he suffered in the initial Arsal clashes, leaving nine members of Lebanon's security forces still in their hands.