106 sentenced to death in Lebanon over clashes with army


Lebanese army in arsalA Lebanon military judge Wednesday sentenced 106 men to death over clashes between the army and jihadists two years ago in the east of the country, a judicial source said.

Judge Najat Abou Chakra convicted 73 Syrians, 32 Lebanese and one Palestinian of belonging to “terrorist organisations”, attacking the town of Arsal near the Syrian border, and kidnapping and attempting to kill Lebanese soldiers and policemen, the source said.

Seventy-seven of those convicted are in custody but the other 29 remain at large.

They include Abu Malek al-Talli, the leader in the cross-border area of Qalamun of Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate, Al-Nusra Front.

In August 2014, the Lebanese army clashed with the Islamic State jihadist group and Al-Nusra in Arsal.

IS and Al-Nusra kidnapped 30 soldiers and policemen as they withdrew.

After lengthy negotiations, 16 of the captured men were released in early December in exchange for Islamist prisoners jailed in Lebanon.

Since the start of the five-year conflict in Syria, Lebanon has become home to more than one million Syrian refugees.

It has also been the scene of deadly bombings, including attacks targeting the Shiite group Hezbollah, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.