Lebanon News

Cannabis fields in Bekaa destroyed for second day

Lebanese police stand guard as workers destroy cannabis fields in Baalbek, Monday, July 23, 2012. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)

BEKAA, Lebanon: Lebanese authorities continued efforts to eradicate cannabis fields in the Bekaa, east Lebanon, Tuesday as normal activity in the region remained subdued due to reports of prowling gunmen.

Two bulldozers were used in Tuesday’s operation in addition to 17 tractors after 15 tractors were sabotaged by gunmen a day earlier.

The operation, which was launched Monday, is proceeding with caution, especially following reports of armed men in the vicinity of Boudai on the outskirts of Baalbek, though no gunfire was recorded.

Speaking to reporters at the scene, Lieut. Col. Elias Zeaiter said: “We are carrying out the mission in such a manner as to destroy the banned drugs and maintain the prestige and dignity of the state.”

Zeaiter added that security forces spotted heavily armed men at a distance but that they were located in an area far from the day’s operations.

Around 35,000 dunams (8,600 acres) in the northern Bekaa are believed to be used for the cultivation of cannabis, which has long flourished in the fertile valley. Although the government banned the plant in 1992 and began annual campaigns to destroy it, farmers continue to grow the plant.

Campaigns to encourage farmers switch to other crops such as sunflowers, saffron and tobacco have been unsuccessful on a large scale, as the crops were either unsuited to the local environs or not as profitable as cannabis.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here