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Lebanese Army Deploys in Arsal, Leader Terrorist Escapes Town

la_1The Syrian army killed or wounded scores of al-Nusra Front militants in an ambush near the Lebanese border region of Wadi Khaled Thursday, security sources said.
The sources said the militants – Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians – were ambushed while trying to flee a Syrian army siege of Qalaat al-Hosn, between the Syrian regions of Homs and Tartous.
The Lebanese Army’s airborne regiment backed by police officers deployed Wednesday in central Arsal after angry demonstrations threatened to upend the fragile security of Beirut and north Lebanon in protest over a blockade of the Bekaa Valley border town.
Hours earlier, the Lebanese Army [LA]reopened the only road to Arsal, which is accused of harboring Syrian militants.
Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said he planned to deploy backup police forces to enhance security and stability in Arsal, home to more than 100,000 Syrian refugees.
“I decided to dispatch 40 police members to beef up Internal Security Forces [already deployed] in Arsal.”
On the same level, al-Akhbar Lebanese daily revealed that the leader terrorist, Mustafa al-Hujairi, left Arsal as Lebanese authorities took a firm decision on the deployment of the army in the village.
Al-Hujairi is the leader of an armed group that provides logistical support to al-Qaiea linked networks al-Nusra, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades and the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”.
His 200-member group, includes people who work in providing aid to Syrian militants.
According to the daily, the network also includes suspects who have in the past years been involved in several security incidents in and around Arsal.
Al-Hujairi and many of his aides are wanted by security forces for involvement in car bombings, murders and for firing rockets on towns in Bekaa’s north, al-Akhbar said.
It quoted security sources as saying that the terrorist left Arsal after receiving a message from a Lebanese official that the law enforcement decision has been taken by authorities and “there is no going back.”
The official warned him that “his fate was at stake.”
However, sources said al-Hujairi could still be hiding in the town.
They quoted him as telling the Arsal municipal chief around ten days ago that he would hide in the barren mountains of the town.
Al-Akhbar said that Interior Minister Nuhad al-Mashnouq informed several officials, who attended a security meeting at Baabda Palace on Wednesday, about reports that al-Hujairi had left Arsal ahead of the army’s deployment there.

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