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Lebanese army arrests Syrian militants’ commander in Arsal

The Lebanese army has reportedly arrested a commander of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) near Lebanon’s border town of Arsal.

A security source told media that the FSA commander, Abdallah Rifai, who was fighting in Syria’s strategic Qalamoun region, was stopped on Sunday at an army checkpoint in Wadi Hmeid on the outskirts of the northeastern border town.

Rifai was disguised as a woman when the Lebanese soldiers identified him.

Lebanese army has boosted its presence near the country’s border with Syria after militants briefly occupied Arsal in early August. Soldiers drove militants out of Arsal in a five-day battle that left several troops and dozens of terrorists dead.

Lebanon has been suffering from terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda-linked militant groups, as well as random rocket attacks, which are viewed as a spillover of the prolonged conflict in Syria.

Neighboring Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. More than 200,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions of others displaced in over three years of conflict in the Arab country.

The Takfiri group currently controls parts of eastern Syria and Iraq’s northern and western regions, where it has committed heinous crimes.

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