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Five Suicide Bombers Attack Lebanese Army, Aoun Calls for Vigilance | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Lebanese Army soldiers patrol a street at the entrance of the border town of Arsal, in eastern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, June 30, 2017. Reuters/Hassan Abdallah

Beirut- Five suicide bombers blew themselves up as Lebanese army forces raided on Friday Syrian refugee encampments in eastern Lebanon’s Arsal area.

One child was killed and a number of soldiers were injured, the Lebanese Army Command said in a statement.

The five suicide bombers blew themselves up in response to pre-emptive raids carried out by Lebanese troops which had received information about terrorist attacks being prepared in the area.

During the raids, army soldiers arrested more than 300 people.

A security source said that the target of the security raids was to hunt one suspect, which happened to be the first suicide bomber who blew himself up.

“The raids were based on information about the presence of suspects in the Nour camp and about plans to launch terrorist operations,” the source told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“At dawn on Friday, while an army force was searching Al-Nour Syrian refugee camp in the town of Arsal, a suicide bomber blew himself up with an explosive belt in front of a patrol, killing himself and injuring three soldiers,” the army said in a statement.

Later, while another unit was inspecting an encampment in the area, one of the terrorists blew himself up with an explosive belt. Another terrorist threw a grenade at a patrol and lightly wounded four soldiers.

Later, the army said that a suicide bomber blew himself up among members of a displaced family in the Nour camp, killing a young girl.

The military source described the army operation on Friday as “unique,” assuming that the suicide bombers belong to the same terrorist cell, a fact which would later be confirmed by investigators.

The operation was hailed by a number of officials. President Michel Aoun said it was a very dangerous operation.

“We must remain vigilant and prepared for the upcoming phase after terrorist groups in Syria fall, so that they don’t enter Lebanon,” he added.