BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Kahwagi in Tripoli, militia leader charged over clashes

Lebanese Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi inspects troops in Tripoli, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Army Website, HO)

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Lebanese Army Chief Gen. Jean Kahwagi paid a visit to several military units stationed in Tripoli Thursday, weeks after a security plan largely succeeded in restoring law and order to the restive northern city.

Hours before Kahwagi arrived, a number of stun grenades exploded in several neighborhoods, including the Abu Ali roundabout, Zahreyeye, al-Tall and outside Shaheen Hospital.

Soldiers pursued the perpetrators, who fled on a motorcycle.

Kahwagi toured several neighborhoods in Tripoli, inspecting military units and holding talks with officers.

The Army-led security plan, which was launched on April 1 to end intermittent clashes in the city, has sparked controversy in Tripoli as some residents have protested raids and arrests, claiming the army is only targeting Sunnis.

The military has made dozens of arrests as per judicial warrants issued against several militia commanders and gunmen who were involved in the fighting between Alawite supporters of President Bashar Assad and Sunni residents sympathetic to the Syrian uprising.

Meanwhile, Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr charged Suleiman al-Ali, a militia commander from Jabal Mohsen, along with 23 other people from the Alawite majority neighborhood with belonging to an armed group and taking part in the clashes.

Saqr also charged 25 suspects from Bab al-Tabbaneh of forming an armed group, carrying out terrorist attacks and damaging private and public properties.

Saqr has issued over 100 warrants for the arrest of suspects involved in the clashes and other security incidents in the northern Akkar region.

 

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