Hizbullah Kills 9 Nusra Fighters in Arsal Outskirts, Including Top Officialإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Hizbullah on Wednesday killed an al-Qaida commander and eight of his men in an attack on their convoy along the Lebanese-Syrian border, the group's media said.
Al-Manar television said the convoy of al-Qaida affiliate al-Nusra Front fighters had been traveling on the outskirts of the restive Lebanese border town of Arsal when Hizbullah struck.
"The resistance (Hezbollah) fighters targeted the convoy of al-Nusra Front official Abu Firas al-Jubbeh... after carefully monitoring its movements," the station said.
Abu Firas and three Islamist fighters were killed immediately and when al-Nusra militants tried to retrieve the bodies, Hizbullah opened fire anew killing the other five.
Al-Manar broadcast footage of the arid, rocky terrain where the fighters were targeted and said clashes also erupted between the two sides during which automatic weapons and mortar rounds were used.
The station said that the Lebanese army also fired on al-Nusra positions in the area.
According to state-run National News Agency, the army fired heavy-caliber artillery at movements and gatherings of militants in Wadi Hmeid and Wadi al-Kheil in Arsal's outskirts, reportedly causing casualties.
The clashes come just eight days after al-Nusra freed 16 Lebanese soldiers and police it captured more than a year ago from Arsal.
The swap deal partially ended a long-running hostage crisis, but nine other servicemen taken prisoner at the same time are still held by the Islamic State group.
Arsal lies along Lebanon's border with Syria and it hosts many Syrian refugees as well as rebel fighters in the surrounding countryside.