Several Residents Arrested as Army Draws Tight Dragnet Around Arsal

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The Lebanese army arrested several residents of the northeastern town of Arsal on Saturday a day after two soldiers were killed when gunmen ambushed a military patrol, the National News Agency reported.

NNA said the men were arrested either for the possession of illegal arms or for failing to stop at several checkpoints set up by the military at the entrances of the town.

The agency said the military sent armored vehicles to the northeastern Bekaa valley starting 3:00 am, drawing a tight security dragnet around Arsal by 8:00 am.

Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn reiterated on Saturday that it was unacceptable to attack the military a day after an army communique said Friday that a patrol was ambushed by Arsal gunmen as it was hunting a man wanted for several terrorist acts.

The clashes that ensued left an officer with the rank of captain, Pierre Bashaalani, and Sergeant Ibrahim Zahraman dead, and several military personnel wounded, it added.

NNA said Saturday that the patrol's vehicles were carrying military license plates unlike what several residents of Arsal claimed to be plainclothes men in humvees.

Zahraman's relatives blocked for a short period on Saturday al-Sheikh Mohammed and Halba roads in the northern district of Akkar with burning tires to protest the failure to hand over several of the gunmen involved in the ambush.

Bashaalani's family had also blocked al-Mreijat and Tal Amara-Riyaq road in the Bekaa.

Zahraman was laid to rest on Saturday afternoon while Bashaalani's funeral will be held on Sunday.

Comments 19
Thumb Chupachups 02 February 2013, 09:56


Default-user-icon George (Guest) 02 February 2013, 10:17

How long until those idiots begin arguing on this website thinking their pathetic opinions mean anything.

Default-user-icon + oua nabka + (Guest) 02 February 2013, 12:26

god bless our army
kill all these thugs and put to trial who support them materialy and with weapons and bring them to justice

Default-user-icon + oua nabka + (Guest) 02 February 2013, 13:24

god bless our army
they should wipe out all these thugs , and catch their moral and material high level thugs who support them

Thumb lebanon_first 02 February 2013, 14:45

Christian thugs go straight to jail (samaha)- Sunnite thugs go to jail after a fight (Arsal, nahr el bared) - Chiite thugs... chiite thugs are negotiated with and "appeased"

Missing 02 February 2013, 17:29

Of course it does. When one side gives itself the right to have an armed group above the state, others will.

Thumb andre.jabbour 02 February 2013, 18:06

Who assassinated samer Hanna? I'm pretty sure the Hezbollah terrorist wasn't Sunni.

Missing greatpierro 02 February 2013, 22:14

he is not defending them on the contrry he is calling them thugs that should go to jail. What he is saying is that Shia under the umbrella of HA are above the law.

Missing greatpierro 02 February 2013, 22:16

Ft your remark about Samer Hanna is shocking. You call the murder of an army officer at the command of his helicopter an accidental murder and the matter resolved with the Family. A murder is a murder and should be judged and punished. No one should be above the law.

Thumb lebanon_first 02 February 2013, 22:22

Stargate. These sunni thugs deserve nothing but jail I agree 100%. But your dinosaur brain did not understand the message. I am complaining why justice is lenient with chiites.

Missing feekahraba 02 February 2013, 14:45


Missing feekahraba 02 February 2013, 14:47

ya, and bring iran to help also. Stupid iranians worshipers.

Default-user-icon May 20 2007 (Guest) 02 February 2013, 15:28

Groundhog hassin come out of his burrow saw his shadow and and said Arsal is a red line.

Missing 02 February 2013, 19:40

If the hizb did not run the shia area with iron hand, you would also see the prolifiration of armed groups there as well. The problem is the the hizb gave iteself the right to carry arms and engage itself in syrian conflict. Others are doing the same. It is time to have unity of arm under the control of of the state. Lebanon owes a great debt to the heroes of the resistance for liberating south lebanon from a brutal israeli occupation. However, the Hizb is forfeighting this good will and has unfortunatelly done so among wide sections of the lebanese public.

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 02 February 2013, 20:44

very dangerous "incident":
the army said immediately after the clash that there is 5 killed, but lately the army gave the names of two army members killed.
it became known that the other 3 killed are hizballa members one of them buried today in arabsalim as a martyr,,,what is happening ? ,was it a combined patrol of army moukhabarat and hizb wilayat el fakih el farsi??????????fakhamto has to act swiftly ,saving the army.

Missing cedars 02 February 2013, 21:14

All these problems in the middle east are called due to the fact that Iran and Saudia are in dispute. Iran supports the Shiite with money/arms meanwhile the Saudis send money from Africa to Pakistan to the Sunni as charitable which backfire on them such as Al-Qaeda/fanatics.
Democracy simply does not work in the middle east such as: Iraq, Egypt and's sad but that is a fact.

Missing greatpierro 02 February 2013, 22:12

100%. So must be Dahiye.

Missing greatpierro 02 February 2013, 22:12

this is not an acceptable remark.

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 02 February 2013, 23:33

it was a joint patrol army/hizb alla, 5 dead: two from the army and 3 martyrs hizb..the burial of hizballa martyr was today in arabsalim, for the other two watch tom news