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Lebanon busts Tripoli terrorist cell
Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:21AM
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Lebanon arrests members of a terrorist cell suspected for the recent deadly bombings in the northern city of Tripoli that killed 22 people.


"Several members of a terrorist cell involved in the recent explosions in Tripoli have been arrested," the Lebanese army said in a statement carried by the country's official news agency, NNA.

The army statement gave no details on the number or political affiliation of the cell members but said they had been planning a new attack and an explosive device had been found where they were arrested.

Four soldiers and three civilians were killed when an explosion ripped through a military bus in the port city of Tripoli on September 29. A similar attack in mid-August killed 15 people, including nine soldiers and a child.

Last year, the army fought a 15-week battle with the al-Qaeda inspired Fatah al-Islam militia in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared near Tripoli in which at least 400 people, including 170 soldiers were killed.

An army official, declining to be named, told AFP that those arrested were Palestinian and Lebanese but did not specify if they were extremists.

Tripoli since May has also seen sectarian violence between Sunni supporters of the government and their rivals from the Alawite community.

Political and sectarian tensions in Lebanon have raised fears of a spike in militant actions in Tripoli, which is a traditional bastion of conservative Sunnis.

MMA/MMA
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