BEIRUT: Minister Faisal Karami said Saturday the attack on his convoy in Tripoli should be taken as a lesson for the state in that is shows the need for controls on the increasing availability of weapons in the northern city.
“The state should learn from what happened yesterday and impose its control over the proliferation of arms in the city,” Karami told reporters outside his residence in Tripoli.
Gunmen demanding the release of Islamist prisoners opened fire on the youth and sports minister’s convoy Friday, wounding 11 people, including four of Karami’s bodyguards.
Karami, who was not harmed, initially described the attack as an attempt on his life while his father, former Prime Minister Omar Karami, said the incident was a “mistake.”
One of Faisal Karami’s vehicles went up in flames after the fighting that raised tensions in the city which has witnessed numerous clashes in the past two years.
Karami reiterated Saturday his concerns on the presence of arms in his hometown but said Friday’s attack was not premeditated.
“What happened yesterday happened and the incident was a spur of the moment but its goal was to hurt Tripoli’s security and stability,” Karami added.
He also praised his father, Omar Karami, for his ability to prevent Tripoli being dragged into strife.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said security and politics in Lebanon were interlinked, given that armed individuals on the ground are affiliated with politicians.
"The security situation is linked to the political situation and whoever is fighting on the ground is affiliated with politicians. Therefore, these politicians should decide in a meeting on preventing the spread of arms and control the security,” Charbel told Sawt al-Mada Radio Station.
Charbel also elaborated on remarks he made Friday when he said the situation in Tripoli was “bigger than the Army, security forces and the Lebanese government.”
“What I meant by that is that what is happening is linked to outside forces and the only way we can face it is if we stand together, particularly in this difficult phase,” he added.