Four security officers killed in attack by 'lone wolf' militant in Lebanon's Tripoli

Four security officers killed in attack by 'lone wolf' militant in Lebanon's Tripoli
A man previously detained for his Islamic State affiliation killed two security officers and two soldiers before blowing himself up after being surrounded in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.
2 min read
04 June, 2019
Lebanese troops outside the building where the militant attacked soldiers before blowing himself up [Getty]
A lone gunman using a motorcycle fired on police and army vehicles in different parts of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, killing two security officers and two soldiers on Monday night before blowing himself up later when confronted by troops, Lebanon's army and the state-run National News Agency said.

Troops were deployed in areas of the city to search for the attacker, who was tracked down to an apartment, the army said. It said members of an elite military intelligence force stormed the apartment early Tuesday and opened fire at the suspect, who then set off an explosive belt he was wearing.

"The operation is over," an army officer told local LBC television. Troops and plainclothes security agents surrounded the area and prevented anyone from entering the building.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

The army identified the gunman as Abdul-Rahman Mabsout, but gave no other details. LBC said Mabsout was a former member of the Islamic State group who fought with the extremist movement in Syria. He had been detained when he returned to Lebanon in 2016 and was released a year later.

The attack occurred on the eve of Eid el-Fitr, the feast that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan of fasting. The Lebanese army announced earlier that it had increased security around the country because of Eid el-Fitr, when people go out to celebrate.

The military statement said the shooter first fired at a branch of the Lebanese Central Bank, then shot at police and later at an army vehicle. Two soldiers were killed and one wounded in the shooting at the army vehicle.

The state news agency said a police officer died on the spot and another died of his wounds in a hospital later. It said another officer was wounded.

The attacker was eventually cornered in a residential building and killed himself by detonating an explosives vest he was wearing.

Tripoli, which is Lebanon's second largest city, has seen in the past clashes between rival groups that support or oppose the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad. The city is also home to some extremists who fought against the Lebanese army in the past.

The Islamic State group and al-Qaida-linked militants have claimed responsibility over the past years for attacks in different parts of Lebanon that killed dozens of people. Such attacks have been rare recently.

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