Lebanese army arrests Nusra Front militant accused of killing kidnapped soldier
Lebanon's army launched a security operation in the border town of Arsal after militants launched attacks against security forces in the area. (AFP/File)
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The Lebanese army arrested Friday the suspected killer of a kidnapped soldier in the northeastern border town of Arsal, a security source told The Daily Star.
The source said that the military intelligence arrested Ahmad Laqis affiliated with the Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch, who allegedly shot dead Lebanese soldier Mohammad Hamieh in Sept. 2014 hours after warning his family that they would kill him in the restive border town of Arsal.
Media reports said that Laqis was arrested at Beirut's international airport as he tried to flee the country to Iraq, using a fake Syrian passport.
They added that he is an explosives expert and is close to Abu Malek al-Talli, a Nusra Front commander.
More than 30 Lebanese servicemen were kidnapped in Aug. 2014 by the extremist groups after they briefly overran the town that month leading to a five day battle with the army. Since then, soldiers and policemen have either been executed or released. Over 20 are still being held hostage by ISIS and the Nusra Front in the outskirts of Arsal.
The militants have been holed up on the outskirts of the town, where the army has targeted their hideouts on a nearly daily basis.