Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has granted $1 billion in aid to Lebanese armed forces, state news agency SPA said, as they battle Islamist militants who seized a border town in the worst spillover yet from Syria`s three-year-old civil war.
At least 17 Lebanese soldiers have been killed and 22 are missing in the last five days of violence in and around the town of Arsal. The two sides agreed a 24-hour ceasefire on Tuesday.
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who has close links to the Saudi royal family, announced the aid after visiting King Abdullah on Tuesday evening, SPA said.
The aid would help Lebanese armed forces "maintain the security and stability of Saudi Arabia`s sister country, Lebanon," Hariri was quoted by the Saudi agency as saying.
Lebanon, which is still trying to rebuild after its own 1975-1990 civil war, has been buffeted by violence linked to the Syrian conflict, including rocket attacks, suicide bombings and gun battles.