Dinnieh clashes

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Dinnieh fighting
Date30 December 1999 – 6 January 2000 (1 week)
Dinnieh district
Status Lebanese Army victory
Lebanon Lebanese Army Flag of Jihad.svg Takfir wa al-Hijra
Abou Aisha
Commanders and leaders
Francois al-Hajj Bassam Kanj
13,000 200–300
Casualties and losses
12 killed[1] 25 killed
55 captured

The Dinnieh fighting (30 December 1999 – 6 January 2000) involved the Islamist group Takfir wa al-Hijra and the Lebanese Army fighting for eight days[1] in the mountainous Dinnieh region, east of the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli.

Over a period of several days, an estimated 13,000 Lebanese army troops backed by tanks and artillery swiftly defeated the group of 200–300 rebels, driving isolated bands of surviving guerrillas into remote areas of north Lebanon. The Lebanese army reported a total of 12 soldiers killed in action, while 25 rebels were killed and 55 captured.[2][3][4]


The Dinniyeh Group was a group of 200–300 Islamist militants led by Bassam Ahmad Kanj. Kanj was a close associate of Raed Hijazi who had recently been indicted for his involvement in the millennium bombing plots in Jordan.[5]


Starting at the close of December 1999, The Dinniyeh Group launched an attempt to create an Islamist mini-state in northern Lebanon.[6] The militants seized control of dozens of villages in the mountainous Dinniyeh district, east of Tripoli before being defeated by a force of 13,000 Lebanese soldiers in several days of intense combat.[6]


After the fighting members of The Dinniyeh Group who were not killed or captured fled to Ain al-Hilweh. According to court documents from judicial proceedings against captured members, the group had received financial support from associates of Osama bin Laden through bank accounts in Beirut and north Lebanon.[6] In 2005, members of the group were released by a parliamentary resolution after the 2005 elections which also pardoned the most powerful anti-Syrian Christian leader Samir Geagea.


  1. ^ a b "Bin Laden's Network in Lebanon" (September 2001) Archived 2008-05-22 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ LEBANON - The Limited Scope For Sunni Militancy. - APS Diplomat Redrawing the Islamic Map | Encyclopedia.com
  3. ^ "Syrian, Lebanese Security Forces Crush Sunni Islamist Opposition" (January 2000) Archived 2009-01-04 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Al-Ahram Weekly | Region | Islamists on a rampage in Lebanon Archived 2008-12-16 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Rabil, R. (2011). Religion, National Identity, and Confessional Politics in Lebanon: The Challenge of Islamism. Springer. p. 192. ISBN 9780230339255.
  6. ^ a b c Ain al-Hilweh: Lebanon's "Zone of Unlaw" (June 2003) Archived 2006-08-13 at the Wayback Machine