BEIRUT: The Interior Ministry issued a statement Monday about the circumstances behind the closure of three butane filling facilities in Beirut. The facilities were closed after information was received by security forces that they might be targeted by terrorist attacks, following the wave of car bombings that have targeted the southern suburbs of Beirut.
The decision to close down the facilities was taken to prevent a security, humanitarian and ecological catastrophe, not to mention human casualties among those residing around the area, it said.
The interior minister also requested that the ISF Information Branch formulate a plan to enhance security in the area. According to the ministry statement, dealing with the effects of the closure of the facilities comes second to the safety of citizens, which has been made a priority.
The owners of the butane filling facilities had been briefed from the beginning about the security plan after conferring with Prime Minister Tammam Salam and efforts made by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, according to the statement.
Security measures have stepped up across Lebanon in an attempt to preemptively strike back against terrorist attacks and move against a presumable target bank set by terrorist organizations including military and civilian facilities.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 11, 2014, on page 3.