5 militants killed in clash with Lebanese troops

Lebanese troops killed five Islamic militants during a clash in northern Lebanon on Thursday, a military official said. The clash occurred in the wilderness near the village of Qalamoun, some 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the northern port city of Tripoli, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. The official said troops, backed by helicopters, were pursuing the remaining militants who had taken refuge in Qalamoun's forests and nearby mountainous areas. They were believed to be linked to the al-Qaida-inspired Fatah Islam group that has been locked in fierce fighting with the Lebanese army in a Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli since May 20. The clashes in Qalamoun were the first between the Lebanese army and Fatah Islam outside Tripoli or the Nahr el-Bared camp.