Army Calls Enforcement to Arsal, Seizes Control of Technical School

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Lebonan
Monday, 11 August 2014

Heavy fighting raged in the mountains around the Lebanese northeastern border town of Arsal on Monday for the third day, as the army announced it completely restored the technical school from terrorist groups.

The army said in a statement that its units used heavy weapons to target the positions of the gunmen, leaving several soldiers killed and wounded.

“Meanwhile, the terrorist groups have been attacking the residents of Arsal and are preventing them from leaving the town,” continued the statement.

“On Sunday, the gunmen killed a number of citizens who refused to comply with their orders,” concluded the communiqué.

Lebanese soldiers fired mortar shells into the mountains and the sound of heavy machine gun fire could also be heard in the area, local media outlets reported earlier.

Army told reporters and media personnel to leave Arsal for security reasons following the arrival of heavy enforcement to the region.

Army also called the 5th, 6th and 8th brigades, as well as Battalion 85, commandos and airborne units to Arsal, threatening a harsh battle to defeat the gunmen occupying the area.

Al-Manar correspondent reported that army destroyed a gathering of terrorists' vehicles in outskirts of Arsal. Thick smoke rose from Arsal after a petrol station in the town was set ablaze.

"Gunmen executed Hassan Hussein Al-Hujeiri and two of his sons before they were to leave Rass Al-Sarj area of Arsal, Al-Manar reporter added.

Cracks of heavy gunfire and the thud of shells could be heard from a distance as tanks pounded terrorists positions in and around Arsal. A dozen Lebanese army flatbed trucks were seen carrying tanks toward the outskirts of Arsal on Monday.

In the early hours of Monday morning, several hundred people fled the town during a lull in the fighting.

However, the army prevented Syrians from leaving Arsal.

The National News Agency reported on Monday however that the gunmen were preventing residents from fleeing the town, noting that they were being used as human shields.

The army had reportedly repelled an attack by around 600 gunmen on an army checkpoint near Arsal's technical school.

Military sources also told reporters that the army regained control of al-Khazzan area and al-Hosn.

The clashes began after the arrest of a Syrian man accused of belonging to al-Qaeda's Syrian branch Al-Nusra Front.

Following his arrest, gunmen surrounded army posts before opening fire in a deliberate terrorist operation, sparking clashes that have killed at least 10 soldiers.

Another 13 soldiers are missing, along with an unspecified number of policeman, with army chief General Jean Qahwaji saying Sunday that the troops might have been taken hostage.

Three civilians have also been killed, according to security sources, two of them during the storming of a police post by the gunmen on Saturday and a third killed by terrorist sniper fire on Sunday in Arsal.

The violence is the worst in the area since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011.

The town is hosting tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, and Qahwaji said Sunday that some of the gunmen had emerged from the informal refugee camps in the area.

Rating: 5 Read 841 times Last modified on Monday, 11 August 2014

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