Bou Saab Says Firing on Protesters Prohibited, Slams 'Civil War' Scenes
Caretaker Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab on Thursday said he has called on the judiciary to carry out “speedy and transparent investigations” into the incident that resulted in the death of the protester Alaa Abu Fakhr, urging a “comprehensive probe” not limited to the detained army intelligence agent who opened fire.
“This is rejected and we can never accept gunfire against the protesters or any bloodshed,” Bou Saab said after talks with Speaker Nabih Berri in Ain el-Tineh.
“We also tackled the tensions that surged over the past two days, especially what happened in Jal el-Dib, the attempts to build walls in Nahr al-Kalb and on the road leading to the South, and the blocking of roads, which reminded us of civil war and of what happened in 1975,” the minister added.
“This is dangerous and security agencies can no longer be lenient with any person who might think of going back to that period, which we do not want and which the Lebanese do not want to remember,” Bou Saab went on to say.
Acknowledging that the protest movement’s demands are “rightful” and that protesters “have the right to demonstrate and express their opinion,” the minister noted that the protest movement is “not responsible for what happened.”
“But what is not accepted is the attempt by some parties to exploit such circumstances to score points or take political positions in order to strengthen themselves in negotiations taking place somewhere else,” Bou Saab added.