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Lebanese troops seal off town after ambush kills 2

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 3, 2013 at 11:51 am •  Published: February 3, 2013

A Lebanese army general told The Associated Press Sunday that "several people" have been detained on suspicion of involvement in the Friday ambush. The general spoke on condition of anonymity according to regulations.

President Michel Suleiman told the father of Capt. Pierre Bashaalani, who was killed in the ambush, that the army is determined to find all those involved and put them on trial.

Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwaji said in a statement to the troops that "we will not be silent or accept any political deal." He added that the "army will not retreat no matter what happens and will punish the criminals no matter whom they belong to."

Lebanon's LBC-TV showed photographs Sunday of uniformed soldiers being held in the municipality building in Arsal. Some of the soldiers had bruises, and others were bloody.

Some residents in Arsal have said that the troops who were ambushed were in civilian clothes and using civilian cars. They said they believed they were pro-government Syrian militiamen who crossed the border from Syria to capture Hamid.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati said all those involved in the attack on the Lebanese army should be handed over to authorities.