Gunmen opened fire on an army post in the northern area of Araman at dawn Sunday, triggering a shootout in which two soldiers and one gunman were killed, the army said.
Another gunman fled to an unknown destination, according to an army statement.
The incident occurred at an army post in Araman in the Minieh region. An army operation is underway to arrest the fugitive and uncover the circumstances of the attack, the military said.
Another army statement said the assailant, Omar Brais, was carrying an explosive vest and hand grenades when he tried to storm the army post on a motorcycle. “Guards confronted him, which resulted in his immediate death,” the statement said.
The shootout occurred as the army was engaged in a heavy exchange of fire with militants linked to extremist groups in northeast Lebanon, close to the border with Syria. The standoff began after the Internal Security Forces raided a house in the Wadi Khaled area where the group was holed up.
Videos circulating online from the remote area showed the use of rocket propelled grenades in the battle. The army sealed off the area and has not commented on the operation. The ISF meanwhile said that “all the terrorists” who were holed up in the house were killed in the confrontation.
LBCI television meanwhile reported that “nine terrorists were killed and four others arrested” in the operation.
A security official said the group includes militants linked to one of Lebanon’s most wanted extremists, Khaled Tellawi, who was killed earlier this month during a raid in the country’s north that also left four Lebanese soldiers dead.
Tellawi was blamed for an attack last month that killed three men in a predominantly Christian northern village. He was described as a member of an extremist group that had links to the Islamic State group. The security official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the operation.