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Beirut issues warrant for al-Qaida shooter

June 5, 2012 at 1:08 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, June 5 (UPI) -- A judge in Beirut announced an arrest warrant was issued for a suspected member of al-Qaida who fired on Lebanese forces in May.

At least two people were killed in a standoff between Lebanese forces and two gunmen in late May. One of the men arrested was identified by security forces as belonging to a 13-member al-Qaida cell.

A judge in Beirut issued an arrest warrant for suspected gunman Hani Shanti on charges of attempted murder and for resisting arrest, Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reports.

He was served with the arrest warrant after a brief discharge from a hospital, where he was recovering from wounds suffered during the battle. He had been released from prison in April after serving five years for plotting terrorist attacks in Lebanon.

The security situation in Lebanon is complicated by tensions in neighboring Syria, were clashes occasionally spill over the border.

Turkish officials had said there was no information about the fate of 11 Lebanese men kidnapped by Syrian rebels in late May. The pilgrims were returning from Iran when they were captured and women and elderly men were returned to Lebanon.

The Daily Start reports that an unknown Syrian rebel group had abducted the men in retaliation for Hezbollah's support for the government in Damascus.

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