Lebanese soldier and suspected militant die in clashes in the north

Local authorities have uncovered ISIL networks

FILE -- In this June 19, 2016 file photo, a Lebanese army soldier takes his position overlooking an area controlled by the Islamic State group at the edge of the town of Arsal, in northeast Lebanon. Lebanon’s U.S.-backed military is gearing up for a long awaited assault to dislodge hundreds of IS militants from a remote corner of northeastern Lebanon near the border with Syria, seeking to end a years-long threat posed to neighboring towns and villages by the extremists. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
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A Lebanese soldier was killed in armed clashes after the army raided a suspected Islamist militant hideout in the northern city of Tripoli late on Sunday.

“At around 11pm, in Al Tabbaneh, Tripoli, during a raid to arrest wanted people, the army was the target of gunfire and hand grenades, which led to the martyrdom of one soldier and the injury of a number of others,” the Lebanese army said in a statement.

The raid on a house in Al Tabbaneh aimed to capture Hajar Al Abdullah, who was also killed in the fighting. His brother, Bilal, was detained.

The army seized money, arms, ammunition and other military hardware from the house.

The Lebanese authorities have uncovered a number of ISIL attacks and networks since the last major attack – a 2015 twin suicide bombing in Beirut.

Lebanon has mostly escaped the rash of militant assaults around the Middle East spurred by the war in its neighbour Syria, and last year forced ISIL fighters out of an enclave on the mountainous border between the two countries.

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