BEIRUT: The military prosecutor Monday issued warrants against 200 suspects, including militia leaders linked to clashes in Tripoli, in an unprecedented move indicating the government’s determination to ensure the successful implementation of its security plan.
Judge Saqr Saqr issued 200 warrants seeking the detention of suspects on charges relating to armed clashes, car bombs, killings and attempted murder of civilians and Army soldiers, as well as kidnapping and attempted kidnapping, forgery of documents, and intentional use of forged documents.
The warrants grant security agencies the right to detain the suspects and refer them to the judiciary.
"The most prominent suspects are the militia leaders in Tripoli, in both Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh, as well as gunmen who caused the deaths of dozens of innocent people and soldiers and terrorized them," a judicial source told The Daily Star.
Some of the suspects have already fled or went into hiding fearing detention, the source added.
"Now they [the suspects in Tripoli] recognize that the government will be strict in carrying out the warrants," a security source said.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said that "there was no political cover protecting any of the gunmen," particularly pro-Assad figure Ali Eid, who reportedly fled the country.
The government approved a security plan last week to end the state of chaos and sectarian fighting between rival gunmen in Tripoli and to secure the porous border with Syria along the Bekaa Valley.
Although the Army has yet to deploy in Tripoli, Internal Security Forces set up checkpoints in several parts of the city, searching vehicles and looking for wanted gunmen.
Interior Minister Nuhad Machnouq said the security plan would go into effect in the next two days.
"The plan will begin in 48 hours and failure is unacceptable," Machnouq said before stepping into the Cabinet session at Baabda Palace.
The government and the Lebanese Army have attempted to devise and implement several security plans to restore stability to the country, particularly in the restive city of Tripoli, but so far all have failed.
Last year, authorities decided to place Tripoli under the command of the Army. Such a decision was violated with two rounds of Syria-linked fighting.