BEIRUT (AP) — Gunmen opened fire and threw a hand grenade at a Lebanese Military Intelligence force during a raid in search of wanted Islamic extremists in northern Lebanon, killing three troops and seriously wounding one, the army said Monday.
The shooting near the northern town of Minyeh occurred late Sunday during a raid on the house of one of Lebanon’s most-wanted extremists, Khaled Tellawi, who was blamed for an attack last month that killed three men in a northern village. Tellawi was a member of an extremist group that had links to the Islamic State group.
The army statement gave no further details. Local media reported that Tellawi and two of his aides fled into the countryside, where Lebanese forces later killed Tellawi. Lebanese forces continue to search for his aides.
Lebanese media published a photo of a dead, bearded young man wearing a shirt stained with blood identified as Tellawi, who is believed to have fought in Syria with extremist groups in the past.
Authorities blamed Tellawi and three of his aides last month for a shooting in the predominantly Christian village of Kaftoun in north Lebanon that killed three men.
Security forces identified the four and tried to arrest one of the suspects, a Syrian citizen, in late August. The Syrian blew himself up by detonating explosives he had to avoid arrest.
Since then, a search has been ongoing to find Tellawi and his aides.