Lebanon News

SSNP hands over assailants to ISF

Members of the Internal Security Forces' Information Branch walk in front of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party offices in Beirut, on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) handed over two men Friday who attacked security forces Thursday night and stole a gun, security sources told The Daily Star.

The two men have been identified as Ramzi Abdou and Mahmoud Awwad.

The ISF surrounded the SSNP offices in the Beirut district of Hamra for hours, demanding the handover of the assailants. Once the party surrendered the two men, head of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi ordered the 300-plus ISF members to withdraw from the street.

Security sources told The Daily Star that the ISF had given the party an ultimatum: hand over the assailants or security forces will storm the SSNP offices.

Four members of the SSNP attacked at least one member of a five-man Internal Security Forces patrol Thursday night and stole his weapon, the sources said.

The assailants reportedly hid in the SSNP offices in Hamra for protection. The party returned the stolen gun to the ISF Friday.

A member of the SSNP's political bureau said Friday that his party had nothing to do with the incident.

"There was a problem on Hamra Street and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party had nothing to do with it," Wael Hasaniyeh told Al-Jadeed TV.

He maintained that the ISF's security measures were not directed at the SSNP.

The SSNP’s media office reiterated that the party had not been involved in the incident Thursday night, asking media outlets not to exaggerate the incident in their reports.

“There is no problem at all with the security forces ... none of the party's offices or branches has been surrounded,” the media office said in a statement.

It added that the “the individual incident” is being resolved in a calm manner, saying: “We hope the media are precise and do not exaggerate in things.”





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