BEIRUT — A suspected Lebanese smuggler was killed in clashes with the Lebanese Army during a raid on Saturday in Qatnin in the Bekaa Valley, according to a tweet from the Lebanese Army, as well as reporting by L’Orient Today’s correspondent in the region.
Two Lebanese suspects who were trying to smuggle foodstuffs onboard two vehicles in the Jrud Ersal region, close to the Syrian border, opened fire on an army patrol in the area, according to the military. Soldiers then returned fire, killing one of the suspects, while the other was arrested, the military added.
The army also seized the two vehicles in question, in addition to an assault weapon, ammunition and communication equipment. "The detainee was handed over with the seized items to the competent authorities and an investigation has been opened," the army stated.
The army regularly conducts raids in the Bekaa, where armed groups are rampant and the already weakened rule of law is seriously undermined by an unprecedented economic crisis in which Lebanon has been mired since 2019.
Smugglings of all kind are frequent between Lebanon and Syria, and authorities have difficulty controlling the porous border between the countries.
Additional reporting by Sarah Abdallah