Heavy casualties as Lebanese army pounds Daesh positions on border
The Lebanese army on Monday bombed militant posts in the outskirts of three eastern border towns, inflicting heavy casualties on Daesh, state-run National News Agency reported.
The agency said the army “fired heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers at the posts of the militants in the outskirts of al-Qaa and Ras Baalbek after detecting suspicious movements.”
In the evening, NNA said the army was still bombarding militant posts and gatherings in the outskirts of Arsal, Ras Baalbek and al-Qaa, and that the sounds of shelling were echoing across Hermel and the neighboring towns.
"A large number of militants from the terrorist IS (Daesh) group have been killed and wounded," the agency added.
Five people were killed and 28 others were wounded in late June when eight suicide bombers attacked al-Qaa, a mainly Christian town, in two waves.
Militants from Daesh and Fateh al-Sham Front -- formerly al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate al-Nusra Front -- are entrenched in areas along the undemarcated Lebanese-Syrian border and the army regularly shells their posts while Hezbollah and the Syrian forces have engaged in clashes with them on the Syrian side of the border.
The two groups briefly overran the Lebanese border town of Arsal in August 2014 before being ousted by the army after days of deadly battles.
The retreating militants abducted more than 30 troops and policemen of whom four have been executed and nine remain in Daesh's captivity.
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