Militant blows up himself, mother and wife during army raid in Lebanon: Security sources

The interior of the building where Mohammad Hamzeh blew himself up.
The interior of the building where Mohammad Hamzeh blew himself up.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A suspected Islamist militant and two members of his family were killed in northern Lebanon on Saturday (Dec 5), after the man blew himself up during an army raid on his home, security and medical sources said.

It was the latest in a series of arrest raids across the country since two suicide bomb blasts claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) killed 44 people in a crowded commercial and residential area of Beirut last month.

The raid took place in the town of Deir Ammar, northeast of the city of Tripoli. The explosion killed the wife and mother of the suspect, who was named as Mohammed Hamzeh, a security source said.

At least 10 others were wounded, including four security personnel. A security source said Hamzeh was part of a group that had pledged allegiance to ISIS.

A Lebanese court charged 26 people last week with belonging to ISIS, 23 of whom were directly linked to the Beirut bombings, which targeted a Shi'ite Muslim suburb.

The Syrian civil war across the border has spilled over into its smaller neighbour on a number of occasions, with Sunni extremist bombings against Shi'ites, clashes between gunmen who support opposing sides in Syria, as well as between the army and Islamists.

Al-Qaeda's Syria wing on Tuesday freed 16 Lebanese security personnel it had held since August 2014 after it and ISIS briefly overran the border town of Arsal, in return for the release of jailed Islamists.