Lebanon News

Academics arrested in n. Lebanon

File photo of Lebanese soldiers patrolling the northern city of Tripoli.(The Daily Star/Antoine Amrieh)

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Lebanese authorities have arrested six members of a criminal cell, including a university professor and two students, in the northern city of Tripoli, security sources said Wednesday.

The sources told The Daily Star that the cell, whose members have warrants out for their arrest, had been under surveillance.

They said the Lebanese Army's Counterterrorism Bureau made the arrests after raiding an apartment in the Tripoli neighborhood of Zahrieh late Tuesday.

The suspects include Wiam Mustafa, a 28-year-old professor at Lebanese French University (ULF) in the northern province of Koura, as well as Bilal al-Mustafa, an 18-year-old vocational student, and Abdul-Rahman al-Sayyed, a 23-year-old civil engineering student.

The other suspects were identified as Ahmad Salaheddine, Abdullah Salaheddine and Mohammad Khaled Salaheddine, an employee with Electricite du Liban in Jounieh.

The sources said authorities were pursuing a seventh remaining suspect, identified as Ahmad Mohammad Mustafa.

The arrests came after two deadly suicide car bombings rocked Lebanon since Friday.

A suicide bomber killed a security officer and wounded 25 people in a midnight attack Monday in the Beirut neighborhood of Tayyouneh, intending to carry out the bombing in the capital’s southern suburbs.

A similar attack took place Friday when a suicide bomber blew himself up a police checkpoint on the Beirut-Damascus highway in Dahr al-Baidar, killing a police officer and wounding 32 people.

Authorities say the security flare-up is related to the Iraq crisis.





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