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A recent robbery turned hostage situation in the northern Akkar governorate town of Andqit has brought security and development needs in the area to the fore, according to the town's mayor. Last month, three men entered the Oudeen pine forest close to the town's center, making camp for the night with the intention of robbing houses and businesses in the town the following day. The mayor of Andqit, Omar Massoud, told The Daily Star that the thieves' plans were interrupted when they were surprised by two men from the area who had come to the forest to clip old branches from the forests' trees. However, the incidents in Andqit have shed light on economic, social and security deprivation in the Akkar governorate.This, Massoud said, has left Akkar without the elements it needs to become a fully functioning governorate.According to Massoud, Akkar has seen a recent increase in the number of robberies, thefts, crimes and looting.
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