Lebanon News

Mikati responds to reports that he is a target for assassination

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati takes part in late President Nelson Mandela's memorial in South Africa on Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013. (The Daily Star/Dalati and Nohra)

BEIRUT: Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati responded Saturday to reports he was a target for assassination saying Lebanon as a whole is under threat due to regional turmoil and the charged atmosphere locally.

“Unfortunately, the security and daily life of all of the Lebanese people are under threat as a result of the situation and surrounding events in addition to the charged domestic atmosphere which we have repeatedly warned of,” Mikati said, according to a statement from his office.

“In any case, I am doing what my conscience and national duty tells me to do and I ask God to have mercy on this nation, its people and to protect them,” Mikati, who hails from the northern city of Tripoli, added.

In a report Saturday, Al-Akhbar newspaper quoted a security communiqué warning of the possible targeting of a high-ranking political figure through the use of an explosives-rigged vehicle.

“Information ... that explosives material have been placed in a Champaign-colored [four-wheel drive] Kia driven by a Syrian suicide bomber named Abu Adnan, a member in the Khaled Bin Al-Walid Brigades of the Islamic Front. This vehicle targets a high-ranking political figure in Tripoli or Beirut and has moved toward its target,” the communiqué read, according to the daily.

“Other information also made available [indicated] that a black Honda would explode in Tripoli near the house of the mentioned figure,” it added.

Al-Akhbar said the original information listed Mikati as being targeted.

Security has been boosted around Mikati’s estates and offices in both Beirut and Tripoli.

The Islamic Front, Syria's biggest rebel alliance, was formed late last year and comprises of seven militias active in the ongoing battles in the country.





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