BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Palestinian tunnel sets Hezbollah on edge

  • Lebanese soldiers at a checkpoint in the southern suburbs of Beirut. (The Daily Star/File/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah members have discovered activity in an old tunnel between the Burj al-Barajneh and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in the suburbs of Beirut, according to a source close to the resistance party.

While the partially completed tunnel dates back to the Civil War, it was recently discovered that unknown parties had been working to complete the underground passage between the camps. Sources told The Daily Star that this discovery has led to heightened security in Beirut's southern suburbs.

Tuesday morning, life returned to normal in Beirut’s southern suburbs after an overnight security alert saw Hezbollah members deploy en masse.

Security sources told The Daily Star that Hezbollah deployed heavily Monday night, particularly around Rasoul al-Azam and Bahman hospitals. They said concrete blocks and barriers were brought in to several locations in the southern suburbs to prevent trespassing.

The sources said the measure was unprecedented given that Hezbollah would only mobilize its members during a state of emergency or the movement of a top Hezbollah official for security or health-related reasons.

Eyewitnesses said traffic was normal in the suburbs Tuesday with people going about normal daily business and the barriers had been removed.

The security sources said they did not known the nature of the activity, which lasted a few hours.

A huge security force - drawn from the Lebanese Army and police - deployed in the southern suburbs of Beirut last September as part of a plan to replace checkpoints set up by Hezbollah following a series of deadly car bombings that targeted area.

 
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