The Lebanese army on Monday killed what it described as the “ringleader of a terrorist cell” during a raid on a house in a town near Tripoli which also left four soldiers dead.
Khaled Al-Talawi died after a force from the Military Intelligence Directorate closed in on an apartment where he had been hiding in Beddawi, northern Lebanon.
Sgt. Louay Melhem, and soldiers Charbel Jebili, Anthony Takla, and Nihad Mustafa were killed when the militant threw a hand grenade and fired at their patrol before fleeing the scene with three other people. Al-Talawi was later killed in the Zgharta district after he shot at soldiers. Units stopped another fugitive and chased two others.
Al-Talawi had been on the run from authorities after his car was used by armed men during the killing of three young guards in the town of Kaftoun on Aug. 21. The militants were part of a terrorist cell, led by Al-Talawi, linked to Daesh.
Since the attack, security services have carried out a series of raids, including one on the Beddawi Palestinian refugee camp, and Syrian refugee camps in the north.
Lebanese Army Command revealed that the cell’s members “had received military training, collected weapons and ammunition, which were seized, and carried out several thefts to finance their activities.”
Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, Joseph Aoun, briefed President Michel Aoun on the military operation in a phone call.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron’s deadline for Lebanese parties to form a new government of specialists and nonpolitical ministers has expired with as yet, no solution.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib was unable to prepare a list of names following claims from the Amal Movement, Hezbollah, and the Free Patriotic Movement that he had not consulted with them.
After meeting President Aoun on Monday, Adib said he had visited the Presidential Palace “for further consultations,” and that over the next two days “we hope for the best.”