Lebanon News

Army deploys in Baalbek during security crackdown

Lebanese soldiers stand at a checkpoint at the entrance of the neighborhood of Hay al-Sharawneh in Baalbek, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)

BEKAA, Lebanon: The Lebanese Army erected checkpoints and deployed troops early Wednesday in the Hay Al Sharawneh neighborhood of Baalbek, and conducted a series of raids as part of a security crackdown in the region.

Army checkpoints, enhanced with ISF personnel and military vehicles, were erected inside residential neighborhoods near Qobbet Al-Saideen, the eastern entrance of Sharawneh neighborhood and the Sindibad restaurant.

The deployment began at dawn as soldiers took up positions at intersections and roads leading to towns. It followed raids in the towns of Yammouneh, Bawadi and Dar Al Wasaa in Baalbek, and also in Bekaa’s Brital and Hourtaala.

While some of the residents in the region voiced relief about the army crackdown, others feared the operation might only serve as propaganda, and lead to no real changes occurring in the region.

The raids in the region come after House Speaker Nabih Berri stressed on Monday the importance of the security plan in order to end the security chaos in Bekaa.

Berri held talks Monday with a delegation of Bekaa Valley clan leaders to secure public support for the security crackdown.

Following the meeting, the speaker announced that the Army would be deploying to the Bekaa Valley to improve security in a region known for its lawlessness, with over 30,000 active arrest warrants according to Berri,.

On the first day of the crackdown in the region, operations were confined to the town of Brital, home to some of the country’s most-wanted criminals.

They resulted in the arrest of three people wanted by authorities and the confiscation of stolen property.





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