TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Four militia commanders involved in recent fighting in the northern city of Tripoli turned themselves in to the Lebanese Army Tuesday.
Security sources told The Daily Star that Amer Ibrahim al-Maarouf, Amer Arish, Hussam Abu Mkhaiber and Jamal al-Maneh had surrendered to Army Intelligence.
The sources said all four men were wanted by authorities in connection with gunbattles between the rival neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh.
In a statement, the military confirmed the surrender of Arish, but made no mention of the other three.
The Army said Arish was wanted on multiple arrest warrants.
The Army and Internal Security Forces have arrested a number of militia commanders and gunmen as part of a security plan launched last month to restore stability in Lebanon’s second city.
Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said in a statement that Rifaat Eid, the secretary-general of the Arab Democratic Party who is wanted by the authorities, might have fled Lebanon.
Rifi was responding to media reports quoting him as saying that Eid had flown to California.
Sheikh Malek al-Shaar, the mufti of Tripoli and the north, praised the security plan and said the arrest warrants issued so far were fair.
“The security forces have succeeded in controlling a problem that seemed impossible to resolve,” Shaar said in a radio interview.
He said some of the fighters in Tripoli were loyal to outside powers.
Meanwhile, authorities Tuesday identified a dismembered body found a day earlier in Ouzai, south of Beirut, as that of 45-year-old Mustafa Nassif al-Saad, a Syrian national.
A Syrian national and a Bangladeshi woman had been arrested in connection with the murder of Saad, who has been linked to prostitution, they added.