BEIRUT: Health Minister Wael Abu Faour visited the southern town of Shebaa over the weekend, reassuring residents that there were no gunmen in the area and urging them to leave security measures to the Army and security forces.
“We are here today to tell residents of Shebaa and Arqoub that the Army is doing its job in closing the border crossing, unless it is for humanitarian issues,” Abu Faour said during his tour in the town, where fears of a Arsal-style scenario have grown given the presence of thousands of refugees.
Shebaa’s location on Lebanon’s southeastern border with Syria and the Israeli occupied Golan Heights prompted concerns that militants from rural Damascus could enter the town and clash with the Army, similar to recent events on the northeastern border in the Bekaa Valley.
“There are no arms here or gunmen. So people should stop disseminating fear and intimidation with the aim of sowing divisions,” he said.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 25, 2014, on page 4.