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Conflict Incident Report
Soldier killed, six wounded in Hermel
A soldier from the Lebanese Army was killed and six more were injured overnight Monday in a shootout in a Hermel town as their unit pursued a suspected drug dealer, an Army statement issued Tuesday morning said.
According to the statement, an Army Intelligence unit was shot at by unknown assailants while pursuing a drug dealer in Marjheen. “That left one soldier martyred and wounded six others,” the Army said.
The unit called for backup, but the statement did not specify whether anyone had been apprehended.
In a separate statement later in the day, the Army mourned the fallen soldier, named Qassem Mohammad Wehbi, born in 1977 in Arsal. He was married with two children.
Baalbeck-Hermel has long been perceived as a safe haven for those wanted on drug-related charges, theft or shootings.
The situation escalated a few months ago when a series of shootouts caused outcry among residents and lawmakers, who urged security agencies to intervene. This prompted the Army to increase its scrutiny of the area.