BEIRUT: Lebanon's Army vowed over the weekend to battle terrorism by launching the recently-announced security plan despite attacks targeting the military.
“The Army will continue to fight and pursue terrorists, and is determined to move forward and implement the security plan in all its details, whatever the sacrifices and difficulties," the Army command said in a statement issued late Saturday.
The statement came hours after a suicide bomber killed three soldiers at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the northeastern town of Arsal near the border with Syria.
"The Army Command knows that it is now more than ever targeted by terrorists who want to prevent the establishment of the authority of the state and its attempts to eliminate strife,” the statement said, citing the Arsal blast and the attack that killed an Army officer in the northern city of Tripoli last week.
Acting Police Chief Brig. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous arrived in Tripoli Sunday to attend a security meeting at the Tripoli Serail.
Maronite Cardinal Beshara Rai also expressed grief over Saturday's suicide attack, and called on the state to put an end to impunity for perpetrators of such crimes.
“We are saddened by the assault against the Army and security forces in Tripoli and the Bekaa,” Rai said in his Sunday sermon.
“Such attacks are carried out by groups that don't believe in humanity, the nation or the law, and we regret that they are getting political cover to protect them,” he added.
“We appeal to the government to firmly implement the security plan set out by the Higher Defense Council and to punish all criminals,” the cardinal said.