Lebanese Soldier, Jamal Jean al-Hashem killed in north Lebanon bus attack, 42 arrested
Antoine Amrieh/The Daily Star/Oct. 17, 2014
TRIPOLI, Lebanon: The Lebanese Army Friday arrested at least 42 Syrians hours after a soldier was killed and several others were wounded when a military bus carrying troops along the road in Bireh in the northern Akkar province came under fire. A security source told The Daily Star that Jamal Jean al-Hashem, a 19-year-old private in the Army, was instantly killed in the 4:45 a.m. attack. His body was taken to Salam Hospital in his hometown of Qobeiyat.
The source said a number of soldiers were also wounded in the attack, but would not give an exact number. Sorrow and grief gripped his hometown, and residents blocked the Qobeiyat road in protest. Hours after the attack, the source said the Army arrested at least 42 Syrians during raids on the outer edges of Bireh and Khirbet Daoud.
The Lebanese Army confirmed the assault on the bus, saying the military cordoned off the vicinity where the attack took place. In a separate statement, the military said two patrol units came under fire and an unidentified gunman who also tossed a hand grenade at one of its centers in al-Bisar neighborhood in Tripoli between 3:33 a.m. and 4:45 a.m. Soldiers responded to the source of the gunfire and were in pursuit of the perpetrators. A security source said another Lebanese soldier was wounded when an Army patrol in Zahriyeh, Tripoli, came under fire. He was identified as Jamal Ashek. Shortly afterward, the Lebanese Army found a 200 gram homemade bomb near a shop in the Tripoli neighborhood of Abi Samra. Experts safely detonated the explosive device. The raid against Syrians in Khirbet Daoud came after Lebanese troops searched the house of Atef Saadeddine, a soldier who had deserted the Army, there, the source said. No arrests were made in the initial raid in their hunt for the bus attackers. However, an individual in the Tripoli neighborhood of Akoumi was arrested later in the day for his involvement in opening fire on an Army checkpoint in a previous attack.