Leb: Two Soldiers Killed in Clashes with Gunmen in Arsal
[An Nahar] The army announced on Friday that one of its units was the victim of an armed ambush as it was patrolling the outskirts of the Bekaa town of Arsal.

Two officers were killed and a number of soldiers were maimed the clash that ensued with the gunnies, said the Army Command in a statement.

A number of the gunnies were also injured.

"A large army unit soon headed to the region where it cordoned off the area and began pursuing the attackers," it continued.

Furthermore, it urged the residents of Arsal to cooperate fully with the army's procedures in the area, warning that it will "not be lenient with any attempt to allow passage or harbor gunnies."

Media reports had said earlier that at least four soldiers were killed and a number others maimed the Arsal festivities between the army and gunnies.

LBCI and al-Jadeed televisions said that the festivities erupted in light of the shooting and kidnapping of Khaled Hmayyed in Arsal.

OTV later reported the death of Hmayyed, identifying him as a member of the group that kidnapped seven Estonians in Leb in 2011.

Hmayyed recently joined the Free Syrian Army.

LBCI said that the Lebanese security agencies had labeled him as a member of a "terrorist group," adding that his activity was constantly being monitored.

Other sources said he was a member of the Death Eater al-Nusra Front, which is active in the Syrian revolt.

Posted by: Fred 2013-02-02