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Alleged militants accused of participating in clashes in north Lebanon's Tripoli denied the charges in court Monday, with one saying that he was forced to carry arms to defend the Lebanese Army.Gen. Khalil Ibrahim, questioned 11 defendants for more than two hours, among them Ziad Saleh, Saad Masri, Ahmad Salim Mikati and his son Omar.While most denied their participation in the clashes, Masri told the court that he carried arms in defense of the Lebanese Army.He said he did so after he realized there were people trying to create a rift between the residents of Tripoli and the Army. Abu al-Huda confessed to participating in the Mankoubin battle in the city, but denied leading an armed group.Omar denied participating in his father's group, stating that his father didn't have an armed group to participate in.
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