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Lebanon arrests commander of al-Qaida linked group

The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) arrested a commander of an al-Qaida linked terrorist group on Wednesday during a raid in western Bekaa region, which also left one people dead, according to a statement by the army.

The Lebanese Intelligence Directorate arrested Jamal Dafterdar, the commander of "Abdullah Azzam Brigades" after a dawn raid on his whereabouts in a western Bekaa village, the statement read, adding that "a gunman attacked the LAF with a hand grenade during the operation, prompting the army to shoot him dead."

The raid was conducted following a tip-off from an investigation into an attack against Lebanese army checkpoints in southern city of Sidon on Dec. 15, last year, which left one soldier dead, the statement said.

On Dec. 26, the Lebanese army arrested Majed Al-Majed, who was suspected of heading the "Abdullah Azzam Brigades." The detainee later died in a military hospital in Beirut on Jan. 4.

The "Abdullah Azzam Brigades," formed in 2009 and based in Lebanon, is an offshoot of the al-Qaida in Iraq group and was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States in 2012. The organization has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut on Nov. 19, last year, which killed over 20 people.

[Source: Xinhua, Beirut, 15Jan14]

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