The Lebanese army command announced the death of Five Army soldiers including one officer and the wounding of 16 wounded others in the clashes with Islamist militants in the outskirts of Ras Ras Baalbek near the northeastern border with Syria.
The army identified the victims as :
First Lieutenant Ahmed Mahmoud Tabbeekh, 28, married
Sergeant Mohammad Niazi, Nasir al-Din, 31, married
Soldier Bilal Khudr Ahmed, 27, married
Soldier Mohammad Ali Alaeddin, 20, single
Soldier Hassan Ramadan Deeb, 23, single
The army said a large number of gunmen had been killed but did not give figures. A Lebanese security official, who asked to remain anonymous as he was not authorized to speak to the media, said nine gunmen died.
It was not immediately clear which group the attackers belonged to but Syria-based jihadist groups such as al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the ultra-hardline Islamic State have attacked Lebanon in recent months.
Ras Baalbek is near the town of Arsal, where Sunni Islamist militants staged a deadly incursion in August and seized a group of Lebanese soldiers. The militants have since killed some of the soldiers and around two dozen remain captive.