Lebanon army kills 'Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist'

BEIRUT (AFP) - Lebanese soldiers shot and killed a jihadist suspected of belonging to Al-Qaeda-linked groups after he opened fire on them in the country's eastern Bekaa valley, the army said on Thursday.

"While carrying out searches for individuals suspected of involvement in terrorist acts, particularly car bombings, and after receiving a tip, the army set up a checkpoint on Wednesday afternoon to arrest Palestinian Ibrahim Abdel Moati Abu Moaylaq," the army said.

"He tried to flee in his car, hitting a soldier, and then opened fire on the checkpoint to cover his escape, wounding an officer," the statement added.

"The soldiers responded with fire, mortally wounding him, while his accomplice was able to escape."

The army said Mouaylaq "belonged to the Abdullah Azzam Brigades and had ties to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."

The Abdullah Azzam Bridages is a Lebanese jihadist group linked to Al-Qaeda, whose leader Majid al-Majid died after being arrested by Lebanese authorities earlier this month.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a jihadist group operating in Iraq and Syria that is inspired by Al-Qaeda.

The army said Mouaylaq was coordinating with an ISIL chief across the border in Syria "to transfer suicide bombers into Lebanon to carry out terrorist attacks." Lebanon has been rocked by a wave of bombings in recent months, including a massive double suicide car bomb against the Iranian embassy in Beirut that was claimed by the Azzam Brigades.