SIDON, Lebanon: The Lebanese Army Saturday briefly detained a man who was wearing a niqab, covering his face and body, after he fled before approaching a military checkpoint in the coastal city of Sidon.
The man stepped out of a vehicle, waiting in line at an Army checkpoint outside the Serob neighborhood, southeast Sidon, and ran toward a nearby building.
Army personnel grew suspicious of the man’s behavior and followed him as he climbed the stairs to reach one of the building's higher floors.
During interrogation, the man told investigators he wore the niqab in order to not draw the attention of the neighborhood which he frequented to visit his lover.
He also said that he fled the checkpoint to escape inspection which would have revealed his cover.
At the Serob checkpoint female military personnel usually inspect other females, particularly those wearing the niqab.
The incident sparked the ire of Islamist groups in Sidon who called on the military to prosecute the man, saying his action would force hundreds of veiled women to be inspected at the checkpoint.