BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army slammed Friday groups questioning the army’s role in enforcing security uniformly in all Lebanese territories while the Interior Ministry moved to regulate the use of motorbikes in a security crack down following the Ain al-Remmaneh incident. The Lebanese Army stressed it would not respond to provocative political rhetoric by “some” parties, which disparaged the army’s enforcement of security in certain regions.
An army’s statement emphasized that no political cover would be granted to any perpetrators, underscoring its determination to establish security and preserve stability over all Lebanese territories.
“Isolated incidents could happen anytime, anywhere as it is impossible to prevent their occurrence,” the statement said.
“However,” the statement added, “the army promptly contains any security incident and arrests suspects in order to re-establish stability.”
In separate security incidents, one individual was stabbed to death and four other injured in clashes in the Beirut Christian suburb of Ain al-Remmaneh Tuesday night. Another 18 were wounded in the northern port city of Tripoli when grenades were thrown on Wednesday and Thursday outside the Al-Ashkar coffee shop in the mostly Alawite Jabal Mohsen. Alawites are an offshoot sect of Shiite Islam.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud issued a decision on Friday regulating the traffic of motorcycles in a bid to curb further security incidents or public disturbance.
Georges Abu Madi, 31, was killed and four others wounded when youths from the mainly Shiite district of Shiyyah entered Ain al-Remmaneh on motorbikes and clashed with residents.
Motorbikes have often been used during security incidents, robberies and terrorist acts due to their high mobility in narrow streets, Baroud’s statement said
The decision effective starting October 15 will restrictthe traffic of motorbikes from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. and require drivers to provide security forces with valid registration papers and identity cards upon request.
The decision excludes commercial institutions providing delivery services such as restaurants and pharmacies. The statement ordered security forces to penalize offenders and confiscate their vehicles.
Meanwhile, Democratic Arab Party leader Rifaat Ali Eid, accused Egypt on Friday of instigating security incidents in Tripoli in order to hamper Arab reconciliation, a reference to the Syrian-Saudi rapprochement.
The Democratic Arab Party represents the Alawite community in Lebanon mainly residing in the Jabal Mohsen area of Tripoli.
Tripoli was the scene last year of deadly sectarian clashes between Sunni supporters of Lebanon’s parliamentary majority and rivals from the Alawite community supported by Syria.
Eid said several Egyptian intelligence members had arrived in Tripoli recently, adding that he informed the Lebanese Army of their entry.
“The Future Movement does not have an interest in instigating such incidents, especially in light of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz’s visit to Syria,” he said.
Eid added that his party was focusing its efforts in order to preserve the calm atmosphere.
In response to Eid, the Egyptian Embassy denied any Egyptian involvement in Tripoli’s incidents, adding that such accusations would not harm “the historical ties” between Lebanon and Egypt.
The statement underlined Egypt’s insistence to preserve security and stability in Lebanon as well as the Lebanon’s full sovereignty over its territories.
“Egypt always made sure not to interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs and adopts this policy in its relation with Lebanon,” the statement said.
Separately, caretaker Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said some parties aimed to destabilize the country’s security situation and undermine the outcome of the Saudi-Syrian summit as he condemned the latest security.
Similarly, Future Movement MP Samir Jisr stressed that the Tripoli incidents were being exploited by some parties seeking to maintain the political deadlock in order to prevent the formation of the new government.
Jisr said that security measures must be tightened in the city in order to secure stability, while highlighting that investigations into past security breaches remained unconcluded.
Also, Tripoli Mufti Malek al-Shaar said on Friday that security breaches in Tripoli were instigated by groups which opposed the Saudi-Syrian summit and seek to destabilize Lebanon.
As for the Ain al-Remmaneh, well informed judiciary sources told The Daily Star on Friday that State Prosecutor Judge Saeed Mirza ordered the arrest on Friday of four more individuals suspected of being involved in the incidents.