A group of gunmen attacked several Lebanese Army positions and a patrol in Baalbek, Bekaa Valley, killing a soldier, the Army said in a statement on Monday.
“At approximately 00:45, a number of armed men opened fire towards an army patrol and military positions in Talya, Brital, El-Khodr, and Doris, and this resulted in the martyrdom of one of the soldiers who happened to be passing through the area,” the statement read.
Adjudant Ali Al-Afi, who was a father of one, was 30 years old at the time of his martyrdom on Monday, July 13th, the Army said in a eulogy.
A Baalbek native, Al-Afi received several decorations and was praised and congratulated by the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces several times and by the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities once during his service.
Soldiers carried the martyr to his final resting place in the heart of his hometown on Monday afternoon in a befitting farewell ceremony.
According to the Army’s statement, a day prior to the attack, the fugitive Abbas Al-Masri fired a gun in the air at the Doris checkpoint while he was trying to “forcibly pass through in his BMW-type car, accompanied by Jaafar Al-Afi.”
In response, the military personnel at the checkpoint returned fire, “which resulted in the injury of the wanted [fugitive] Abbas Al-Masri, and Jaafar Al-Afi, and they were then transported to Dar Al-Amal University Hospital – Baalbek for treatment.”
It’s worth noting that the Lebanese Army regularly performs raids in various areas of the Bekaa Valley region, where many wanted criminals, armed gangs, and drug lords operate.