Lebanese expert killed while dismantling bomb
Dec. 03, 2014
RAS BAALBEK, Lebanon (AP) — A Lebanese military expert was killed and two others were wounded Wednesday when a bomb they were about to dismantle near the border with Syria exploded, the army said.
The explosion comes a day after an ambush by militants in the same area killed six soldiers and wounded one.
The army said the bomb was found on the outskirts of the town of Arsal on Wednesday morning. Troops found the bomb as an army patrol was combing the area in the aftermath of Tuesday's ambush near the village of Ras Baalbek.
The predominantly Christian village was almost empty, and few people were seen in the streets. Special forces were taking part in search operations as a Lebanese military aircraft flew overhead.
No one has so far claimed responsibility for Tuesday's ambush or for planting the bomb that was discovered Wednesday.
Lebanese troops have been battling Syria-based Islamic militants, including the extremist Islamic State group and the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, in areas near the border.
In August, the militant groups seized some 20 Lebanese soldiers and police officers during a brief cross-border raid on Arsal. The extremists have already killed three of the captives, beheading two of them.
Later Wednesday, the military took media to the site of the ambush and displayed a state-of-the art observation tower with night vision cameras, apparently in an effort to show off its alertness despite the killing of the soldiers.
The tower, about 20 meters (yards) high and located 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Ras Baalbek, was funded by Britain and is heavily fortified with tanks, heavy machineguns and mortar launchers.