SIDON, Lebanon: Sidon MP Bahia Hariri announced Monday a number of security and safety operations in areas surrounding the city’s marketplace and mosques in the wake of recent bombings elsewhere in the country that claimed dozens of lives and wounded hundreds.
Hariri presented the series of measures during a meeting with a number of city officials, political figures, civil society representatives, and security and military personnel in the southern town of Majdalyoun.
It was agreed that the security plan, which includes cooperative measures between security forces and the municipality, begin to be put into practice Tuesday morning.
A meeting with the municipality’s emergency committee also entailed discussions for fortifying the local police force and reinforcing its presence within the city’s neighborhoods, towns and markets.
Hariri stressed that the city’s moukhtars play a significant role in boosting security and maintaining and promoting a sense of awareness among the citizens. She also said it was important the moukhtars alert the citizens of any suspicious activity.
Later Monday, members of the Sidon municipality and the Sidon Traders Association issued a joint statement declaring a series of safety measures aimed at safeguarding the city’s marketplace, which include prohibiting the parking of cars, buses or other vehicles along roadsides within the souk, with the exception of vehicles whose purpose is to load or unload goods.
A number of streets will also have limited access to and from the souk.
A statement was also issued following a meeting between the head of the ISF branch in southern Lebanon Col. Samir Shehade and head of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya’s southern branch Amad Jardali, as well as other officials, confirming the parties’ eagerness to cooperate to ensure the safety of citizens, especially outside mosques.
Sources told The Daily Star that exceptional security measures would be carried out on the eve of Friday prayers by religious committees and the ISF whereby cars and other vehicles would be prevented from parking within the mosques’ vicinities.
In the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, the Palestinian National Security cooperated with neighborhood committees and took security measures aimed at preventing any future operation which might threaten the safety of the camps and neighborhoods.
Metal posts were placed on the sides of the roads around mosques, UNRWA offices, schools and the vegetable souk to prevent cars from parking nearby. Owners of vehicles unfit to be driven were asked to move them to parking lots, and surveillance cameras were installed on a number of streets.