Fugitive Detonates Bomb in N Lebanon Raid, Causes Casualties
A fugitive detonated an explosive belt early Saturday during a north Lebanon army raid, killing himself and three of his family members and wounding at least six others.
Security sources informed that Mohammad Hamze, a suspect who is wanted for belonging to a terrorist group and engaging in battles with the army, tossed a grenade at the raid unit in the town of Deir Ammar, leading to an exchange of fire.
Consequently, he was soon trapped inside a room where he blew himself up using an explosive belt made of four bombs, killing himself, his wife, mother and niece.
The source said that a military expert removed a bomb linked to the explosive belt that didn't blow up, to detonate it.
The Lebanese Red Cross Committee said it moved six wounded from the site of the blast to a hospital for treatment.
Witnesses told TV channels that the suspect didn't live in the apartment where the blast took place, but that it belonged to his sister and her husband. Others added that the place was vacant, as the couple was outside of the country.
One of the neighbors reported that: "The army cordoned off the building and demanded Hamze to surrender but he refused and tossed a grenade that didn't explode, prompting soldiers to open fire... he soon blew himself up."
Furthermore, the security source added that Hamze was linked to the group of notorious extremist militant Osama Mansour, who was killed in last April.
Mansour, who was close to Lebanon's top terrorist fugitive Shadi Mawlawi, was wanted for plotting several attacks on the Army in Tripoli. He also took part in clashes between Tripoli neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen.
Mansour and Mawlawi are believed to have links with al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front.
The raid followed more than three weeks of security forces launching a widespread crackdown on suspected militants following the double suicide attack targeting the southern Beirut suburb of Borj al-Barajneh.
Relatively, more than 20 people have been arrested and 300 kilos of explosives seized in the days following the November 12 attack, which killed 47 and wounded more than 200. Most of the operations were carried out in the northern city of Tripoli.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team