Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Saturday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
Army to control the security chaos ... the “Interior Ministry” vows results soon
The presidential vision of the defense strategy is beginning to be evaluated politically as the Cabinet takes a break until Prime Minister Najib Mikati comes back from the United States, to which he will travel today to head Lebanon’s delegation at the U.N. General Assembly sessions. Lebanon is scheduled to have a speech and Mikati will be meeting with several heads of states.
At this time, the citizen remains burdened by the security situation amid a paralysis that is affecting domestic security and an increase in robberies as well as the flourishing of the “kidnapping trade.” The Army, however, is doing a noticeable job to control this chaos and pursuing violators and kidnappers while releasing the kidnapped.
Army pursues gangs in southern suburbs
After the three sessions of Cabinet this week, which were followed by a National Dialogue session, the security situation took center stage amid military measures in various areas. Meanwhile, the Cabinet will take a vacation that will last no less than two weeks.
As for the security situation, a development occurred when the Army took certain measures that seemed to have gone beyond resolving cases of abductions to pursuing wanted [men].
Military sources told An-Nahar that an Army patrol was pursuing a person wanted along with his gang on tens of arrest warrants. The wanted man, nicknamed Antar, shot at the patrol, wounding two officers and several soldiers, including Maj. Abbas Jomaa, who was critically wounded. The Army then asked for backup and cordoned off the area, arresting suspects and seizing arms.
'Al-Jouni's Cell': Lahhoud, Berri, Mikati, [Abdel-Rahim] Mrad on the 'list'
With the decrease in political activity – excepting March 14's reservations regarding the president’s national defense strategy – the protests against insulting the Prophet Mohammad and Islam increased, as did the security measures taken to control security, as security sources revealed assassination plots hatched by one "Jouni."
MP Ahmad Fatfat's press office released a statement commenting on what was reported by Al-Joumhouria Friday stemming from security information and investigations, warning of assassinations of Fatfat and MPs Mohammad Kabbara and Nuhad Mashnouq as well as a number of politicians and judges at the hands of a cell headed by Mohammad al-Jouni.
The statement expressed surprise that [the victims of the plot] had been informed of it via the media instead of the security agencies, despite the information being days old.
However, security sources denied to Al-Akhbar the validity of the information in the possession of Minister Michel Murr, which indicates that Jouni was planning to assassinate several officials, including Murr himself. Sources told Al-Akhbar that Jouni told investigators he wanted to assassinate two judges and revealed his intention to target the [Internal Security Forces’] Information Branch to avenge his brother, who was killed during a pursuit.