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Saudi Arabia, France Signs Deal To Arm Lebanon

Saudi Arabia and France have signed an agreement to provide the Lebanese army with $3 billion worth of French weapons.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the October 4 deal, financed through Saudi aid, will help Lebanon's military "fulfill its mission to defend territory and in the fight against terrorism."

The agreement was first announced last December.

It comes as the poorly equipped Lebanese army battles Islamist militants.

Three days of fighting between troops and suspected Al-Qaeda loyalists left at least 16 people dead in the northern city of Tripoli last month.

In August, troops fought with fighters of the Islamic State (IS) group and Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

The militants later withdrew across the Syrian border, taking with them several dozen Lebanese soldiers and police captives. Several of them have been executed.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP