Four More Bodies of Men Killed in Tall Kalakh Transferred to Lebanonإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Syrian authorities handed over to Lebanon on Sunday the bodies of four fighters killed in an ambush by regime troops in the town of Tall Kalakh in the second round of such transfer.
The bodies, which were transferred in four ambulances from the Arida border crossing in northern Lebanon, were identified to be as that of three Lebanese - Mohammed al-Ayyoubi, Ahmed Nabhan, Bilal al-Ghoul - and Palestinian Mohammed al-Hajj.
The families of the Lebanese men said in a statement that their funeral will be held after noon prayers at al-Mansouri Grand Mosque in the northern city of Tripoli.
Sidon's Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir was on hand during the handover.
A delegation from Dar al-Fatwa, including the director of its public relations department, Sheikh Shadi al-Masri, was also there as representative of Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani.
Sources close to Prime Minister Najib Miqati said in remarks published in An Nahar Sunday that Syria was going to hand over all the corpses but decided to transfer the bodies in separate rounds pending the results of DNA tests.
Last week, Syrian authorities handed over the corpses of three of the Salafist fighters.
Reports said six bodies remain with Syrian authorities. But it is not yet clear when they will be sent back to Lebanon.
The General Security Department said in a statement that its chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim will continue his contacts with Syrian authorities in coordination with the Lebanese foreign ministry to complete the transfer of the remaining bodies.
While there is still discrepancy on the number of fighters who infiltrated Tall Kalakh, media reports have said that several of them sought refuge with the rebel Free Syrian Army while around three others were arrested by regime troops and will be tried in Damascus.
The families of the men had warned of staging rallies across Lebanon on Monday if the authorities failed to retrieve the bodies of the fighters over the weekend.
They had also demanded the expulsion of Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali and described the diplomat as a “criminal.”