BEIRUT: General Prosecutor Hatem Madi referred Friday the recent killing of Lebanese soldiers in the east of the country to Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr.
On Feb. 1, a Lebanese Army unit was ambushed by gunmen in the eastern town of Arsal who retaliated after military intelligence personnel apprehended Khaled Hmayyed, a man wanted on terrorist charges.
The head of the Military Intelligence, Brig. Gen. Edmond Fadel, said Monday Hmayyed was a member of Jabhat Al-Nusra, an Islamist group fighting alongside the opposition in Syria.
He also said the soldiers who were killed and wounded in the ambush were driven to the headquarters of Arsal’s municipality. The wounded soldiers, the security chief said, where then beaten and the bodies of the two dead men were put on display.
The incident sparked nationwide outrange as media outlets started broadcasting gruesome details of how the gunmen allegedly treated the soldiers.
LBCI broadcast last week images of the soldiers at the municipality building.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati and other Lebanese officials have urged Arsal residents.
There are reports indicating the Army has obtained a list of names of those involved in the ambush.
Arsal Mayor Ali Hujeiri said Thursday that the military has a list of about 70 people wanted for their alleged involvement in last week’s attack.
He told The Daily Star the list had been prepared “randomly” by the Army.
The Future Movement has called for an investigative committee to reveal the circumstances behind the death of Hmayyed, who the Army said was killed in the shootout with soldiers.
The general prosecutor, who handled the case, has not issued any arrest warrants.
Since the incident last Friday, the Army has taken strict security measures in the town and suburbs, setting up checkpoints and sealing off the area to arrest the perpetrators.
The so-called blockade of Arsal has been rejected by Future Movement MPs and the town's residents who have voiced their support to the military.