MAJDAL AANJAR, Lebanon (AFP) – A Lebanese major was killed and a soldier injured on Thursday when their vehicle came under gunfire during a raid aimed at finding an army deserter in eastern Lebanon, an army spokesman said.
“A major was martyred and one of our soldiers injured during a raid in the town of Majdal Aanjar (in the Bekaa Valley) in an attempt to find a deserter who had sought refuge there,” the spokesman told AFP, declining to disclose their names.
An AFP correspondent said an exchange of gunfire was heard in the town around 10:00 am (0700 GMT).
The eastern Bekaa Valley has historically been known as a safe haven for fugitives and gained particular notoriety during the 1975-1990 civil war as a fertile hashish-growing region run by tribes.
Three soldiers were killed in an ambush on an army patrol in the Bekaa in April when a prominent clan sought revenge for the killing of one of their members, a drug baron who refused to stop at an army checkpoint.