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Lebanon thwarts 2 major bombing attacks

Lebanese riot police hold a position as they clash with demonstrators during a protest against the government's decision to raise taxes to cover a salary increase for teachers and other public servants, in Beirut,Lebanon on 19 March 2017 [STR/AFP/Getty Images]
Lebanese riot police hold a position as they clash with demonstrators during a protest against the government's decision to raise taxes to cover a salary increase for teachers and other public servants, in Beirut,Lebanon on 19 March 2017 [STR/AFP/Getty Images]

After ten months of “hard work,” Lebanon’s internal security forces have foiled two major bombing attacks, the country’s interior minister, Nohad Machnouk, announced yesterday.

“A ten-month-long high-level security operation carried out by the country’s police intelligence was able to monitor and thwart two major attacks against Lebanon,” Machnouk told reports at a press conference held in the Lebanese capital of Beirut.

The perpetrators, Machnouk explained, were intending to smuggle explosives and bombs into Lebanon from the opposition-held northwestern Syrian province of Idlib. He added that they were targeting “places of worship, gatherings of Christians and military posts.”

Idlib is the last remaining outpost for rebels genuinely committed to overthrowing the Syrian state and establishing a new political society.

READ: Lebanon strengthens its troops’ presence on border with Israel

“The explosives were smuggled, firstly, in buckets of cheese, and secondly, in a shipment of milk,” the Lebanese official pointed out.

The failed attempt, dubbed “Lethal Cheese,” comes days before Lebanon’s parliamentary elections.

“Lebanon is now safe for both its residents and visitors. We decided to publicise the operation to provide assurances that security is in good condition in the country,” the minister stressed.

On Sunday, the Lebanese army announced that it would strengthen its troops’ presence along the country’s southern border in light of Israel’s recent actions near the United Nations-demarcated Blue Line between the two countries.

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