(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
BEIRUT - Lebanese authorities have detained seven militants linked to Islamic State, dismantling their network and preventing several mass attacks, Lebanon's main security agency said on Friday.
The suspects include Yemeni, Palestinian and Syrian nationals, who confessed to planning attacks and suicide bombings against civilians and armed forces, it said.
The operation "deterred the detained terrorists and others who fled from executing their criminal plans on Lebanese soil," the statement from the General Security directorate said. Authorities also found an explosive belt with one suspect.
The alleged attacks intended to hit different parts of the country, including the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp, the southern suburbs of Beirut, and the northern city of Tripoli.
"Members of the network received instructions and communicated with their handlers from Lebanon," mainly from Ain el-Hilweh and from the Burj al-Barajneh area in south Beirut, General Security said.
A security source told Reuters forces arrested the seven suspects at various times last week.