Lebanese soldiers convoy drives in the Baalbek area, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Army Website, HO)
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Local residents have criticized the Bekaa Valley security plan, claiming that the government is arresting petty criminals while dangerous fugitives remain at large, and should instead focus its efforts on economic relief and development.Sunday marked the fourth day of raids by the Lebanese Army, Internal Security Forces and General Security. Some 128 people have been arrested across the Bekaa valley since the raids began. According to one of its leaders, the politically influential Shiite Jaafar clan supports the Bekaa security plan, but has doubts about whether the right people are being targeted.Firas Alam, who represents a number of fugitives and prisoners from the area, agrees and said that only economic development can resolve the ongoing security problems in the Bekaa.Mahfouz said it was impossible for the plan to succeed, as many of the fugitives were busy fighting extremists in Syria's Qalamoun and along the Lebanese-Syrian border, making them nearly impossible to apprehend.Like many from the region, Mahfouz concluded that without an economic plan, the government's security plan would not achievelasting success.
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