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Lebanese Hezbollah fighters kill explosives expert in Syria

BEIRUT — Lebanese Hezbollah fighters killed a senior member of the Islamic State group who was known to be one of their top explosives specialists in an operation inside Syria, activists said Tuesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the man known as Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi was killed by a bomb planted in his car in Syria’s rugged Qalamoun region along the border with Lebanon. Three other Islamic State militants died in an ensuing clash with Hezbollah fighters, according to the group.

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Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV reported Iraqi’s death but said he was killed in a ‘‘qualitative’’ operation by the Syrian Army in Qalamoun. It said he was in charge of rigging cars with explosives and preparing suicide bombers he sent to Lebanon.

Hezbollah is a Shi’ite group and longtime ally of the Syrian government. It has been heavily involved in fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria.

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