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Child killed and soldiers injured in Lebanon refugee camp suicide attacks

Army says seven wounded as they faced five suicide bombers and a grenade attack during raids on camps in the Arsal area near Syria border
Lebanese troops have faced deadly clashes with militants in the Arsal area (AFP)

A child was killed and seven Lebanese soldiers wounded on Friday when five militants blew themselves up and a sixth threw a grenade during raids on two refugee camps near the Syrian border, the army said.

Four of the suicide bombers struck in the al-Nur camp near the border town of Arsal, the army said.

A young girl, whose parents are both refugees, was killed and three soldiers wounded, the army said.

A medical source in the provincial capital Baalbek said the girl was two and a half years old.

A sixth militant threw a hand grenade in al-Qariya camp, the statement said, injuring several soldiers.

Soldiers found five other explosive devices in the al-Nur camp, one of which detonated. The army made no mention of casualties from the explosion.

The raids, aimed at "arresting terrorists and seizing weapons," were still ongoing, the army command said.

A military source told AFP that troops made a number of arrests.

"The objective of the operation was to arrest a wanted man and it was this man who was the first to blow himself up," the source said.

The Lebanese army has in recent months stepped up raids in the makeshift camps built on the edge of the town, where tens of thousands of impoverished Syrian refugees who had fled violence in their country in recent years live in squalid conditions.

The camps around the town have long been a haven for militants coming from Syria who have clashed with Lebanese forces conducting security raids searching for suspects hiding among the refugees.

The militants briefly overran the town in 2014 in a battle that killed dozens and marked one of the more serious spillovers of the Syrian conflict in Lebanon.

A number of attacks in Lebanon in recent years have been linked to the war in Syria, where Lebanese group Hezbollah is fighting in support of the government of Bashar al-Assad.

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