Lebanon News

Tripoli militia leader released from Roumieh prison

Charred cars are seen in front of the Salam Mosque in Tripoli, Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Abou Taymour al-Dandashi, a militia leader detained for involvement in clashes in Tripoli, has been released from Roumieh prison, a judicial source told The Daily Star.

The Military Court issued the decision to release the militia leader Thursday.

Dandashi was detained for participating in Tripoli clashes earlier this year, firing gunshots and possessing unlicensed weapons, the judicial source told The Daily Star. He has since been released because the amount of time he has been detained was equivalent to the duration of the sentence that would have been issued against him, had he been prosecuted, the judicial source said.

According to Tripoli sources, Dandashi is a leading Salafist militia chief, heading a fifty-strong group in the Riva area of Tripoli.

On July 6, Dandashi had issued a demand from jail, broadcast by LBCI, that the Army's security plan be “implemented fairly, not selectively, in Tripoli.”

Al Akhbar also reported on an earlier alleged recording of Dandashi in March.

“In the recording, Dandashi blasts the city’s [Tripoli’s] political leaders, and even threatens to liquidate them, with the exception of MP Mohammad Kabbara,” Al Akhbar said.

Tripoli sources said that rumors are circulating over a possible release of more militants detained during Tripoli clashes, as almost a year has passed since the bombing of Tripoli’s Al-Salam and Al-Taqwa Mosques.

The sources also said that officials are fearful that something might happen on the one year anniversary of the twin bombings, with rumors circulating over the possible release of prominent Tripoli militia leader Ziad Alouki.

At least 42 people were killed and more than 400 wounded when twin car bomb blasts hit Al-Taqwa Mosque and nearby Al-Salam Mosque on Aug. 23, 2013.

The released suspect is among a number of militia leaders who have been detained since security forces, led by the Lebanese Army, began implementing a security plan on April 1 to restore law and order to the restive city.

Tripoli has witnessed nearly twenty rounds of violence between the Sunni-dominated Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood and the Jabal Mohsen district populated mostly by Alawites, leaving hundreds of casualties and scores wounded over the past three years.





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