A suspect labeled by Lebanon's military and police force as being a "dangerous terrorist" was shot and killed on Thursday during a gun battle with a Lebanese security force in the town of Arsal, according to Middle East news outlets.
The suspected terrorist, Sami al-Atrash, had been wanted by Lebanese security forces for allegedly building improvised explosive devices (IED) for use in car bombs, bombarding targets with rockets and mortar shells, and for kidnapping Lebanese citizens, according to reports.
Lebanese intelligence officers located the whereabouts of al-Atrash in Arsal, which is close to the Lebanese border with Syria. Upon searching for al-Atrash, the terrorist opened fire on the patrol that was closing in on him in the town. The patrol immediately returned fire and al-Atrash died from a number of gunshots he sustained during the exchange of gunfire.
The town of Arsal shares about a 30-mile border with Syria and has been used by Islamists to cross into Syria and back the Islamist rebels in their fight against President Bashir al-Assad's military and against members of the terrorist group Hezbollah, which backs President Assad.
Also on Thursday, Lebanon's cabinet approved a new security program that included the commissioning of the army to implement the plan in the city of Tripoli and in areas bordering Syria.
Lebanese officials proclaimed they ordered their security forces to seize arms caches in Tripoli and use all methods necessary to arrest suspects involved in violence in the city. They were also charged with curtailing the activities of numerous kidnappers and those involved in carjackings in Tripoli and surrounding areas.
A spokesperson for President Michel Suleiman said that an end to the violence and repeated attacks in that Arab nation must be achieved.