Lebanon Army on alert after border incidents

Photo: Lebanon Army on alert after border incidents / Arab World

Lebanese troops have intensified patrols near the border with Syria following a series of violent incidents over drug disputes or rivalry between pro- and anti-Assad men.

A security source told The Daily Star Friday that the patrols were centered around the outskirts of the Bekaa Valley border town of Arsal and nearby ravines.

The source said the Army measures came after reports of repeated shootings and kidnappings, the latest of which was when unidentified assailants opened fire at a Syrian refugee center bordering Arsal, killing a man and wounding another.

Two other men were kidnapped in the shooting late Wednesday evening.

The source said the incident appeared to be over a personal dispute.

The Army action also came as authorities warned of the repercussions of the Iraq crisis on Lebanon.

Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said Thursday that the Cabinet would summon military and security chiefs to discuss the possible impact of the fast-moving developments in Iraq on the security situation in Lebanon.

Rifi's remarks came after attending a Cabinet session that also discussed, among other issues, the capture by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria of the Iraqi city of Tikrit after taking over Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.

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