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The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
12:43 PM Beirut time
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Lebanese Army warns security a ‘red line’
Lebanese Army Commander General Jean Kahwaji speaks during a ceremony in Yarzeh, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Army Website, HO)
Lebanese Army Commander General Jean Kahwaji speaks during a ceremony in Yarzeh, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Army Website, HO)
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BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army said that security in the country is a “red line” and urged politicians to help reduce what it described as “unprecedented” levels of tension in parts of the country.

“The Army leadership stresses that security is a red line in deeds and not in words,” a statement from the military said, adding that state institutions and public and private property were also off limits.

Clashes erupted Sunday between security forces and hundreds of anti-government protesters attempting to storm the Grand Serail, the country’s government house, in Beirut.

The clashes s intelligence chief Wissam al-Hasan who was killed Friday in a Beirut neighborhood.

In its statement, the military warned that in some parts of the country “levels of hatred were rising to unprecedented levels.”

It said it would take the necessary measure to prevent the escalation of tensions in parts of the country.

“[The Army recognizes] the sensitivity of this period and the disputes between political sides and it will have decisive steps, particularly in the areas where there is escalating sectarian and religious friction, to prevent Lebanon turning into a place for settling regional scores and to prevent Maj. Gen. Wissam Hasan’s assassination from being taken advantage of and turning it into an opportunity to assassinate the nation.”

The Army urged politicians to “exert caution while expressing stances and views and mobilizing people because the fate of the nation is at stake.”

The military also urged citizens to “exert the highest levels of national responsibility during this stressful period and not to allow emotions to overtake the situation.”

It also called on people to vacate the streets and to reopen roads that were blocked.

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