The Lebanese Army widened a massive operation in eastern Lebanon arresting 35 persons, killing a man and injuring another after they ignored orders to stop. The Lebanese forces are hunting down suspected drug lords behind the killing of four troops. On Monday, attackers raked an army convoy with bullets and blasted it with a grenade killing the troops and critically wounding an officer, in an apparent drugs-related ambush in the Bekaa, AFP reported.
Hundreds of troops deployed between the Bekaa and the Hermel region, further north, setting up checkpoints and raiding the homes of drug barons in the area. Military helicopters flew over the area, reports said. An army spokesman was quoted as saying: "We will raid every region and every location where we have information on suspects," he said. "We have raided a number of homes and detained several suspects wanted in previous cases but they don't include those behind Monday's attack."
During the operation, soldiers confiscated large weapons caches in addition to several vehicles, some of which were stolen, the NNA said.
The Lebanese army cordoned off al-Sharawni, a neighborhood in the main Bekaa town of Baalbek, and surrounded the home of Hassan Ali Jaafar, a leading suspect in Monday's ambush. Later Tuesday the army launched raids in the Baalbek towns of Hawsh Barada, Dar al-Wasaa, al-Amhaziyeh and Saaideh.