Lebanese soldiers and fugitives were killed during a recent raid by the Lebanese Army targeting drug traffickers in the town of Hawrtaala in the Bekaa region.
The army announced that three soldiers and three fugitives died during the operation, as troops came under gunfire and responded with force.
Following the incident, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati took to Twitter to express his condolences to the soldiers who lost their lives.
“It is the army’s destiny to always be in the lead to defend the country and its sovereignty and protect its people, paying hefty prices from the lives of its soldiers,” Mikati said.
“I salute the three army martyrs who fell today in the Bekaa and I pray to God to heal the wounded soldiers,” the premier added, extending warm condolences to the army and its command.
Drug smuggling has been a persistent issue in the region, with the Lebanese Army regularly carrying out raids in the Bekaa area to counter the surge in captagon production and trafficking, a drug mainly smuggled to the Gulf.
Captagon pills, an amphetamine causing widespread destruction in the region, are of particular concern to Gulf nations, which have responded with backlash against Lebanon – including blocking imports from Lebanon.