Attack on Lebanese Army convoy kills fiveApril 13th, 2009 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS
Beirut, April 13 (DPA) Five Lebanese soldiers were killed and 11 others wounded when their convoy was ambushed in eastern Lebanon, army sources said Monday.
Three soldiers died immediately in the ambush on an army convoy in the area of Riyak, in eastern Lebanon, while two others died later in a hospital from serious wounds, among them a major, the sources said.
Eleven others are still in hospital being treated for moderate wounds, hospital sources in the area said.
The Bekaa Valley has always been known to be the main production area of illegal drugs, mainly hashish.
The multi-billion-dollar industry was halted after the Lebanese civil war ended in 1990.
But in the past two years, the number of cannabis plantations has increased in the area, and the government has been launching several raids in the area to stop such cultivation.
Tension rose in the past few weeks after the army arrested several drug dealers in the area of Baalbeck. Two of those arrested were from the Jaafar clan.
Last month, Lebanese soldiers also killed a drugs baron from the Jaafar clan, travelling in a stolen car, after he refused to stop at an army checkpoint in the Bekaa Valley.
The Baalbeck area, in the Bekaa Valley, is also a stronghold of Shia Muslim movement Hezbollah.
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