Lebanon: Belgian al-Qaeda suspected arrested

Lebanese security forces arrested three suspected al Qaeda members on Saturday, including a Belgian, in the eastern Bekaa Valley. The sources said a Belgian and a Lebanese man were arrested in a raid in the village of Ba'labaya. In Brussels, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Belgian embassy in Lebanon was aware that a man who "had Belgian papers on him" was arrested. Another Lebanese man, found with weapons, was arrested in the nearby village of Bar Elias, where earlier this week security forces dismantled what they described as an al Qaeda cell preparing for car bomb attacks in Lebanon. They also seized weapons and explosives and at least nine people have now been arrested in connection with the cell, security sources said. In the Bekaa village of al-Khiyara, security forces confiscated "important documents" from three houses, they said. The threat of Sunni Muslim militancy is on the rise in Lebanon as an al Qaeda-inspired militant group, Fatah al-Islam, battles the Lebanese army at the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon. The group has threatened to expand its fight to other areas of Lebanon and beyond if the army does not halt its 3-week-old attack. At least 125 people have been killed in the fighting.

Source: Times of India (English)

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