1 Dead as ‘IS Security Official’ Comes under Gunfire in Arsal

In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 photo, a general view of Arsal, a Sunni Muslim town eastern Lebanon near the Syrian border. This Lebanese border town has become a safe haven for war-weary Syrian rebels, a way station for wounded fighters and home to hundreds of frightened Syrian refugee families. Residents of Arsal, a Sunni Muslim town of 40,000, have strong motives to help those trying to topple Syria's brutal regime: they themselves were harassed and abused by it during three decades of de facto Syrian control of Lebanon. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

A car carrying the so-called “security official” of the Islamic State group came under gunfire Monday in the Bekaa border town of Arsal.

“Syrian national Aref Shbeit died of his wounds after the car of Syrian national Raad Hammadi — an IS security official who is also known as Abu Raad al-Homsi – came under gunfire in Arsal’s al-Sabil neighborhood,” state-run National News Agency reported,

Hammadi was also wounded when an armed group opened fire at the Kia SUV, which was also carrying a third Syrian national, NNA said.

The agency added that the attackers were likely from the Syrian town of Bakhaa, noting that the assault was linked to “a previous dispute with Hammadi.”

Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) said “armed clashes” ensued between the attackers and Hammadi and his companions al-Sabil neighborhood.

Militants from the IS and the rival Fateh al-Sham Front are entrenched in areas along the undemarcated Lebanese-Syrian border and the army regularly shells their posts while Hizbullah and the Syrian forces have engaged in clashes with them on the Syrian side of the border.

The two groups overran the town of Arsal in 2014 before being ousted by the army after days of deadly battles.

The retreating militants abducted more than 30 Lebanese soldiers and policemen of whom four have been executed and nine remain in IS’ captivity.