The head of the Arab Democratic Party Rifaat Eid speaks during a press conference in Tripoli, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (The Daily Star/Antoine Amrieh)
BEIRUT: Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghaida requested the death penalty Friday for the fugitive Rifaat Eid, head of the Arab Democratic Party's politburo, and five fighters from Jabal Mohsen, Tripoli.
Judicial sources declined the name the other four suspects, all of whom are in custody, but added that three are considered militia leaders.
The five stand accused of killing, participating in clashes with Jabal Mohsen's rival neighborhood, Bab al-Tabbaneh, terrorist acts, terrorizing the public, and destroying public and private property.
Eid has been missing since earlier this year and is rumored to have fled the country through Syria after authorities sought to investigate links between the ADP and the bombing of two Tripoli mosques.
News of the indictment follows on the heels of protests from local residents in the largely-Alawite Jabal Mohsen and the predominantly-Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh, both of whom claim to have been unfairly targeted by a government crackdown on fighters in the northern city. Several prisoners from Bab al-Tabbaneh, including an influential militia leader, have been transferred to hospital after launching hunger strikes.
Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh have engaged in around 20 rounds of fighting linked to the war in Syria, where the ADP enjoys strong ties with the regime.
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