Three vehicles with explosives found in Lebanon

Updated: 2007-06-08 01:33

Lebanese security forces on Thursday discovered three vehicles rigged with explosives during a raid on a hideout in east Lebanon's Bekaa valley, the official NNA news agency reported.

The two cars and a van were discovered near the town of Bar Elias, about 10 km from the main border crossing to Syria, a day after security forces captured three foreign militants in the area, who testified to having rigged un-registered vehicles with explosives.

During the operation, police found weapons, explosives, detailed maps of villages and cities and night-vision goggles in the hideout of the two Syrians and one Iraqi national, who were arrested.

It was not immediately known if the three belonged to Fatah al- Islam, which has been fighting the Lebanese army since May 20 at the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared near the northern city of Tripoli.

Lebanon has beefed up security since May 20 when fierce fighting erupted between the military and Islamist extremists in the north.

Since then a series of bombing attacks have taken place in and around the Lebanese capital, which are blamed mainly on the Fatah al-Islam terrorist network.

In the north, the Lebanese army continue to pound Fatah al- Islam members besieged in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, with military helicopters opening fire with heavy weapons and tanks firing shells.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese army officially announced on Thursday the loss of another soldier named Walid Ahmad Abdo at the camp, who was killed on Thursday morning by sniper fire of Fatah al- Islam terrorists at the camp, where battles have been raging for the past 19 days.

The loss of the soldier brought up the total number of soldiers killed to 47, making it Lebanon's deadliest internal violence since the 1975-1990 civil war.

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