World News

Lebanese forces shoot dead suspected militant leader

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese security forces killed a suspected leader of the militant group Fatah al-Islam on Saturday in a shootout near the border with Syria, security sources said.

They said Abdulrahman Awad was killed in the clash in the eastern town of Chtaura. Another man, Abu Bakr Awad, was also killed and a third escaped, the sources said.

Abdulrahman Awad was believed to have assumed leadership of Fatah al-Islam in 2007 after the group waged a three-month battle with Lebanese troops in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in north Lebanon. The previous leader, Shaker al-Abssi was reported killed in the conflict.

The sources said security forces were tipped off that the three men, who were living in the refugee camp of Ain El-Hilweh, were planning to leave Lebanon.

The exchange of fire started when security forces challenged the men in Chtaura. After the gunfight, forged Lebanese passports, as well as Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian identity papers were found in the men’s car, the sources said.

Editing by Janet Lawrence