SIDON, Lebanon: Municipal police in Sidon began to use bomb detection devices from Germany Wednesday, in a bid to reassure the public over the efficacy of security measures.
As The Daily Star previously reported, explosives detection devices widely used in commercial establishments and some government installations have been exposed as inoperative. Last week, a local journalist claimed to have passed through several checkpoints – including one manned by Hezbollah in Beirut’s southern suburbs – with a car containing several types of explosives.
The new devices were used by police to check cars at the entrance of the town’s market at Nejmeh Square, as the city institutes new security measures on traffic flows and parking.
Security concerns have stepped up after several car bombing incidents in Beirut and Tripoli this summer and the discovery of a car bomb near Sidon.
A statement from Sidon’s Municipality said the new devices were provided by the Internal Security Forces, and were imported from Germany.
To familiarize dozens of Municipal Police with the new equipment, training sessions took place last week under the supervision of a specialized officer from the ISF.
The mayor of Sidon, Mohammad Saudi, thanked the public and local establishments for cooperating with the new security plan.
The local merchants association and the municipality issued a joint statement outlining the requirements of the new plan. Earlier this month, merchants blocked local roads to protest the new measures, which they said were hurting their businesses.