Sheikh Dai al-Islam al-Shahhal attends a protest in Beirut, Monday, March 18, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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A prominent leader of the Salafist movement in Lebanon called on the government to return his weapons seized at his colleague's residence in Tripoli, stressing his right to defend himself.Sheikh Dai al-Islam al-Shahhal, a pioneer of the Salafist movement in Lebanon, said in an interview with Ash-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper published Sunday that the weapons seized at the residence of Sheikh Bilal Deqmaq Friday belonged to him. Shahhal said Deqmaq had moved the arms to his own residence after rumors about possible Army raids on Shahhal's residence and that of hard-line Akkar MP Khaled Daher."A couple of years ago, I only had four to five rifles to use in personal guard, but after the events of May 7 and Abra, and the escalation of the clashes between Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh, as well as the absence of the Army on many occasions, I decided to take more precautions in defense of myself, my family and the young men that work for me".The extremist preacher, who is subject to an arrest warrant last week after he threatened to attack the Army in a recorded message, condemned the seizing of weapons from Deqmaq's residence while other figures own arms warehouses all over Lebanon.
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