Militant attack kills two police, two soldiers in Lebanon’s Tripoli

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BEIRUT (Reuters) – A militant attacked a security forces patrol in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli on Monday night, killing two police officers and two army soldiers, state news agency NNA said.

Two security sources told Reuters the police and army had encircled the gunman in a building after he threw a bomb at security forces in a government building and fired at a patrol.

One of the sources said that the attacker then blew himself up and that he had been in jail before on charges of belonging to Islamic State.

The Lebanese military confirmed the attack and the death of a soldier, and said the attacker had also fired at the security forces’ center.

Lebanese authorities say they have foiled numerous attacks in recent years, including some tied to the conflict across the border in Syria. From 2013 to 2016, militants struck parts of Lebanon repeatedly with bomb attacks, but officials have since said that security has improved.

Reporting by Ellen Francis; additional reporting by Mohamed el Sherif in Cairo and Laila Bassam in Beirut; editing by Sonya Hepinstall and G Crosse

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