The Lebanese army has reportedly arrested 350 suspected militants during raids on two Syrian refugee camps in the northeastern border town of Arsal. Among those arrested are alleged members of an Islamic State (IS) related terror cell. Militants in the camps threw grenades targeting the soldiers and five suicide bombers detonated their explosives during the raids, injuring a total of seven soldiers and killing one child.
The raids were reportedly part of a security sweep of the area after the army received intelligence reports that militants were preparing to carry out a series of attacks inside Lebanon.
Arsal is located near the Syrian border and is a known hideout for terrorists and Islamic State militants. Several anti-terrorist operations are conducted in Arsal and terrorist attacks are frequent.
Lebanon's security environment is closely tied to the situation in neighboring Syria, notably due to the involvement of the Lebanon-based Shi'a group Hezbollah in the Syrian civil war. Terrorist attacks have occurred periodically in Lebanon in recent months, usually targeting security forces or isolated villages in the Beqaa Valley, such as Arsal, Ras Baalbek, and Qaa.
Due to the threat of terrorism, some Western governments advise their nationals against travel to the city of Tripoli, as well as Beirut's southern districts, southern Lebanon, and the country's eastern regions (including Baalbek, Hermel, Majdel, and Rachaiya).
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