UN Security Council slams attacks on Lebanese Armed Forces
The UN Security Council on Monday condemned the attacks by violent extremist groups against the Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces in Arsal, an eastern town of Lebanon near its border with Syria, Xinhua reported.
"The members of the Security Council expressed support for the efforts of the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Internal Security Forces in their fight against terrorism and in preventing attempts to undermine the stability of Lebanon," said a press statement issued here.
The 15-nation council reiterated the need to further efforts to build up the capabilities of the Lebanese security forces to counter terrorism and address other security challenges.
Tension flared up on Saturday in Arsal when masked Syrian gunmen infiltrated Lebanon after the Lebanese army announced the arrest of Imad Ahmed Jomaa, a suspected member of Al-Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of Al-Qaida.
Sixteen Lebanese soldiers have reportedly been killed in clashes between national forces and the militants. At least six civilians died in the fighting.
The local government estimates that some 3,000 families from Arsal have so far been displaced.
According to UN figures, Arsal is believed to also host 100,000 Syrian refugees. With about 12,000 new Syrian refugees entering Lebanon each week, the number is expected to reach 1.5 million by the end of the year, accounting for one-third of the country's population.