BEIRUT: Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr charged seven suspects Monday over the Aug. 23 deadly Tripoli bombings, judicial sources told The Daily Star.
The judge charged Youssef Diab, Hasan Jaafar, Anas Hamzeh, Hayyan Ramadan, Ahmad Merhi, Khodr Jdoud and Salman Assaad of carrying out bombings outside two mosques in the northern city.
The seven men are members of a ring allegedly responsible for twin car bombs in Tripoli in August, with preliminary investigations linking Syrian intelligence services and a local political party to the attacks that killed 47 people.
The charges brought against the men include forming an armed gang, murder and attempted murder, and undermining the state's authority.
The sources said that another group was involved in the blasts, preparing the cars rigged with explosives in Syria and then handing them over to the seven-member gang to carry out the explosions in Lebanon.
Diab, one of the charged, is affiliated with the predominantly Alawite, pro-Assad Arab Democratic Party from Tripoli's Jabal Mohsen neighborhood.
Sources familiar with the police investigation had earlier detailed the role of Diab, who was arrested Friday in a shop in Jabal Mohsen and transferred to Beirut.
The sources said that Diab confessed to driving a car rigged with explosives to Al-Salam Mosque in Tripoli before detonating it, whereas another member of the Alawite Arab Democratic Party, named Ahmad Merhi, drove the other car and detonated it at Al-Taqwa Mosque.
Arab Democratic Party leader Refaat Eid said in a press conference Monday that Diab was not yet proven guilty over the bombings.
“If Youssef Diab is innocent then the Intelligence Branch should be dissolved for taking the country towards strife,” he said.
He assured that those who carried out the Tripoli bombings “aimed at creating strife.”
He also warned that his supporters will resort to the street if his rivals do not end the campaign against him.
“Our battles should not be through the media. The issue of Jabal Mohsen should be dealt with through the judiciary, he said.
“We accept the decisions of the Lebanese judiciary.”