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Christian villages on Lebanon-Syria border beef up security

As violence creeps closer to the Lebanese-Syrian border, Christian villages there are supplementing the security provided by the Lebanese army with volunteer patrols of their own made up of retired soldiers.

RAS BAALBEK and AL-QAA, Lebanon — Christian villages on the Lebanese border with Syria are increasing security, both militarily and on the civilian level, following death threats by a local municipality figure and reports of al-Qaeda-linked Islamist groups lurking in the mountains nearby.

“Civilians are forming patrols to protect the borders in places like al-Qaa and Ras Baalbek,” said a source in the Defense Ministry that chose to remain anonymous, as he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media. “What they are doing is in coordination with the local municipality and the governor of the Bekaa, so it’s half-legal, let’s say.”

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