- Associated Press - Monday, December 10, 2018

BEIRUT (AP) - Lebanon’s Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnouk says the country’s police have discovered and thwarted planned bombing attacks by the Islamic State group.

Mashnouk told reporters Monday that the bombs were smuggled in from the rebel-held northwestern Syrian province of Idlib in buckets of cheese, and were intended for targeting places of worship, gatherings of Christians and military posts.

The minister added that the attacks were supposed to take place during Lebanon’s parliamentary elections in May.

He added that those planning the attacks were monitored by police intelligence for 10 months through a Syrian informer in Lebanon.

The announcement came ahead of the Christmas season when many Lebanese celebrate in public places.

IS and al-Qaida-linked militants carried have out attacks in Lebanon in the past, killing scores.

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