LF, Kataeb Slam Attempt to Torch Their Offices in Akkar
The Lebanese Forces and the Kataeb Party condemned Sunday an attempt to torch their offices in the northern Akkar district.
“Masked and unidentified individuals attacked the headquarters of our Akkar department in the town of Miniara overnight Saturday, torching the LF flags that were hoisted outside it,” said a statement issued by the LF’s Akkar dept.
“These blatant attempts have not and will not intimidate us, seeing as these are outdated practices that belong to the (Syrian) tutelage era,” the department stressed.
And noting that “the verdict that has been issued in the case of the assassination of President-elect Bashir Gemayel is a clear indication that there will be no turning back,” the LF called on security forces to “arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice to hand them the severest penalties and make them an example for anyone who tries to sow discord and threaten civil peace.”
Kataeb’s media department meanwhile said “the hand of treachery and criminality tried to burn down Kataeb’s Akkar headquarters at the Miniara intersection.”
Openly linking the attack to the death verdicts that were issued by the Judicial Council against Habib Chartouni and Nabil al-Alam in the case of Gemayel’s assassination, Kataeb said the torching attempt is a “materialization of the threats that were launched by groups that do not believe in Lebanon as a final homeland for all its citizens.”
The attack “confirms that the criminal murderers are the same in the past and today,” Kataeb added, urging authorities to “quickly arrest the culprits, prosecute them and hand them the harshest penalties.”
The party also urged its members and supporters to “show restraint,” describing the torching bid as a “cheap attempt to drag Kataeb into reactions that the perpetrators are seeking in order to push the country once again to the law of the jungle.”
Tensions have been running high in the country since Friday, when Chartouni and Alam -- members of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party -- were sentenced to death in absentia.
Chartouni has been on the run since he escaped from the Roumieh Prison on October 13, 1990 while Alam reportedly died of illness in Brazil in 2014. The latter’s death has not been officially confirmed.
Bashir Gemayel was a senior member of Kataeb and the founder and commander of the Lebanese Forces militia during the early years of the civil war.
He was elected president on August 23, 1982 while the country was torn by civil war and occupied by both Israel and Syria.
At a press conference that followed his arrest, Chartouni admitted that he killed Gemayel, caling him a “traitor” and accusing him of “selling the country to Israel.”
He said he was given the explosives and the fancy long-range electronic detonator in West Beirut’s Ras Beirut district by Nabil al-Alam, who was reportedly SSNP's intelligence chief at the time.