BEIRUT: Future Movement MP Jamal Jarrah denied Monday that the eastern border town of Arsal was a haven for terrorists, following the recent incident that left two army soldiers killed.
“Arsal is not a shelter for extremists or terrorist groups as portrayed by some media outlets,” Jarrah told the Voice of Lebanon radio station.
He said a “mistake” had caused the Feb. 1 incident during which three people were killed – an Army officer and soldier as well as a wanted man who was being pursued by the military.
According to the military, an Army patrol trying to apprehend Khalid Hmayyed was ambushed on the outskirts of the eastern town which borders Syria.
“What happened was the result of a mix-up and the Future Movement is trying to establish a mechanism to eliminate this mix-up in order to avoid a repeat of the incident,” Jarrah said Monday.
He also cautioned against what he described as “collective punishment” of the town.
The Future Movement will announce an initiative to solve the Arsal crisis after meeting with the Army’s chief Monday.