|Lebanon arrests senior commander in Azzam Brigades, kills another suspect||
The Lebanese Army arrested Wednesday a commander in the al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades during a raid in the Bekaa Valley in which the Army also shot and killed a suspect allegedly involved in aiding the leader of the brigades.
The group claimed responsibility for the twin suicide bombings outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut that killed 30 people on Nov. 19 of last year.
The Army intelligence directorate apprehended a commander in the Al-Qaeda offshoot, identified as Jamal Daftardar, after personnel raided his residence in a Bekaa Valley village, the military said in a statement.
Daftardar is reportedly wanted by several countries for committing terrorist acts.
"As a result of enquiry into the circumstances of the attack staged by a terrorist group against an army checkpoint in Sidon … , the Intelligence Department managed at dawn to arrest Jamal Daftardar, a wanted terrorist from Abdullah Azzam Brigades, after raiding the location where he was present in a West Bekaa town," a communiqué by the army command read, according to Lebanon’s National News Agency.
Interrogations with the arrested kicked off under the supervision of the competent judicial authority, NNA reported.
The Army also said the intelligence unit shot and wounded another suspect during the raid. The suspect, who threatened intelligence personnel with a hand grenade, died later of his wounds.
A security source, speaking to The Daily Star on condition of anonymity, identified the killed suspect as Mazen Abu Abbas who was shot during the raid in the West Bekaa town of Kamed al-Loz.
Abu Abbas along with other accomplices is believed to have helped al-Qaeda-affiliated Abdallah Azzam Brigades' leader Majid al-Majid move to a Beirut hospital from the Bekaa Valley, the source added.
The military was unable to interrogate Majid due to his health condition.
Majid, a Saudi national wanted by Lebanon, Riyadh and the U.S, died Jan. 4 from complications of multiple illnesses at a military hospital in Beirut, only days after his arrest by the Lebanese Army.
In its statement, the Army said the arrests came as part of the ongoing investigation into what it said was a twin suicide attack on separate military checkpoints in the coastal city of Sidon.
General Security had also arrested this week a Palestinian man suspected of involvement in the attack on the Iranian Embassy.
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