The Lebanese army pounded with heavy artillery the posts of militants on the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal, as clashes between militant groups of the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front intensified early on Saturday, the National News Agency reported.
NNA said violent clashes erupted between al-Nusra and IS extremists after the latter waged a dawn attack at Nusra positions in Shmais al-Ajram, Kherbet Daoud, al-Shahout Serj al-Nammoura, al-Malahi, al-Ajram and Kherbet Younin in the outskirts of Arsal.
Several casualties on both sides were reported amid a state of chaos that overwhelmed citizens in the Wadi Hmeid camp, it added.
According to military sources, the army targeted the militants’ posts in the outskirts, killing and wounding around 24 jihadists.
LBCI reported that heavy armed clashes erupted early on Saturday between militants from the Islamic State group and Fatah al-Sham in Wadi Hmeid in Arsal.
VDL (93.3) quoted an unnamed security source as saying that “members from the IS group waged a wide attack against Fatah el-Sham positions in the outskirts of Arsal.”
Militants from the IS and al-Nusra Front, which rebranded itself as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham when it split from the al-Qaida movement, are entrenched in rugged areas along the undemarcated Lebanese-Syrian border.
The army regularly shells their posts while Hizbullah and the Syrian army have engaged in clashes with them on the Syrian side of the border.
The two groups briefly overran the town of Arsal in August 2014 before being ousted by the army after days of deadly battles.
The retreating militants abducted more than 30 troops and policemen of whom four have been executed and nine remain in the captivity of the IS group.
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