Officials Condemn Attack on Karami's Convoy as Charbel Calls for State of Political Emergency in Tripoli

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The Central Security Council convened at the Serail of the northern city of Tripoli on Friday after the attack on Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami's convoy.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister's office said Najib Miqati asked Interior Minister Marwan Charbel to chair the “emergency meeting to take the appropriate measures.”

Miqati condemned the attack which he said was aimed at “targeting the security and stability of Tripoli and was an attempt to ignite strife in the city.”

He gave instructions to Charbel to follow up the investigation into the incident and punish the perpetrators.

The statement said that Miqati also telephoned Karami to express his solidarity with him and discuss the details of the attack.

It quoted the prime minister as saying that “efforts should be exerted to steer Tripoli away from any move that impacts its security and stability.”

For his part, Charbel said after the Central Security Council meeting: “Today's incident is very dangerous, whether it was deliberate or not.”

“Minister Karami miraculously survived the attack,” he added.

He demanded that the government and all political leaderships end their protection of gunmen in Tripoli and that the city become arms-free.

“The city should become arms-free and an example for the whole of Lebanon,” remarked Charbel.

“This issue is greater than the army and the state,” he declared.

The interior minister therefore demanded that a state of political emergency be announced in Tripoli and that parliament convene as soon as possible to tackle the situation in the city.

“Political agreement, such as one over a parliamentary electoral law, will help ease the tensions in Tripoli,” he noted.

He revealed that a gunman had pointed his weapon at Minister Karami and if it weren't for the intervention of one of his bodyguards, the minister would have been killed.

Miqati and Charbel later visited former Premier Omar Karami's residence in Tripoli to inquire about the safety of his son, Faisal.

Charbel later stated before reporters: “Today's incident is the product of the spread of arms in Lebanon and the state's shortcomings in controlling this phenomenon.”

“The residents of Tripoli are peaceful people and they have been the victims of the possession of arms. Should the flawed situation continue forever?” he wondered.

“Minister Karami stated that he was not the target of today's attack and the judiciary is serious in pursuing and apprehending the gunmen involved in today's attack,” he stressed.

President Michel Suleiman and Speaker Nabih Berri also telephoned Minister Karami who briefed them about the circumstances of the attack.

Finance Minister Mohammed al-Safadi, who also hails from Tripoli, called Karami to “reject any form of abuse of the cause of Islamists.”

The attack on the convoy took place when armed protesters demanding the release of Islamist prisoners opened fire, completely destroying one vehicle and leaving five of his bodyguards injured.

Al-Mustaqbal bloc leader Fouad Saniora also contacted ex-PM Karami to inquire about his son Faisal, while Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn visited the former prime minister at his house in Tripoli.

Former Premier Saad Hariri later contacted Minister Karami to condemn the attack, saying it is a “low attempt to lure Tripoli to instability once again.”

He hoped that the residents and authorities of the city would cooperate with the security and judicial agencies in order to confront and put an end to these incidents “once and for all.”

Hizbullah later strongly condemned the attack against Minister Karami's convoy, saying: “These incidents jeopardize civil peace and Tripoli's stability and fuel disputes between its residents.”

Among the officials who made phone calls to Karami the elder and the minister were Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, and Phalange Party chief Amin Gemayel.

Comments 19
Thumb thefool 18 January 2013, 15:07

A clear indication that These Islamists should be put in Jail!

What do they think Lebanon is?

Missing beirutbastard 18 January 2013, 19:12

I wanna know who the hell gives fata7 Islam cover and money!! Even in jail they're treated like royalty! Who keeps helping them escape??? Who pays off the guards?? Who dug that tunnel??!!... Somebody knows.

Missing realist 18 January 2013, 21:35

and what about the terrorist ha 'saints' who can assasinate anyone they want at will. People have started to shoot back, aoun taba3ak will not be safe.

Thumb geha 19 January 2013, 08:25

Actually it is only when the life of an m8 mobster is at stake :)

Thumb primesuspect 18 January 2013, 15:13

Karami is a terrorist, those who attacked his convoy were from an anti-terrorist unit.

Thumb primesuspect 18 January 2013, 19:05

I don't justify myself to someone who supports armed terrorists, even less to a gilipolla.

Missing 18 January 2013, 15:13

Armed people shooting cannot be considered protesters. It is time that the authority of the state be imposed whether in Tripoli or Dahiye. This is the danger of week state and the danger when different parties feel at liberty to carry and use arms to achive their objectives. Also, it is high time that when someone is arrested in lebanon, he is put on trial and not languish in jail for years. We need a state: a real functioning, pluralistic and dynamic state.

Missing beirutbastard 18 January 2013, 19:13

Seems to me like the Islamists have a key to the prison, walking out anytime they want.

Missing 18 January 2013, 21:00

So why do they not use this key and get out?

Missing beirutbastard 18 January 2013, 22:39

They seem to be living very comfortably, in past articles it was stated they even guard themselves!... And when it's time, they seem to escape with ease. They said a tunnel capable of allowing hundreds to scape was found during the storm! How do u dig something like that without anyone noticing???

Default-user-icon The Disgusted (Guest) 18 January 2013, 16:59

Big Friggin deal... they can convene until the cows come home... He is lucky to have escaped harm... Next????????????

Missing youssefhaddad 18 January 2013, 18:44

This incident is the result of the lawlessness imposed by the absence of a sovereign government.
Those who have been obstructing the extention of legal authority, Hezbollah and other armed entities, by creating their own security islands have brought thugs to the streets emboldened enough to obstruct the way for a minister.

Missing peace 18 January 2013, 21:06

to whom does this attempt benefits to? hezbis and M8... they ve been meticulously spreading their propaganda of an islamist north filled with jihadists and they dream of igniting tripoli to serve their propaganda...

they set on the fire then play the firefighters... like the assad regime from which they ve learned everything!

michel samaha is the perfect example of a failed attempt to throw the blame on extremist sunnis... and they continue till they ll achieve their goal....

Missing peace 18 January 2013, 21:09

Charbel later stated before reporters: “Today's incident is the product of the spread of arms in Lebanon and the state's shortcomings in controlling this phenomenon.”

LOL! aren t you a minister of this gvt? what did you do to stop armed militias? nothing.
of course if you want to stop people from arming you d better start with hezbis who set the example! LOL

Missing realist 18 January 2013, 21:38

Only a matter of time before sunis start their own 'resistance' and get armed and bye bye lebnanon between suni and she3a resistances. nba7 sawtna trying to save moderation but iran/ha did not leave for the sir matra7 like they say in slang lebanese. Do people who kill rafic hariri and wesam 7assan then call the killers 'saints' seek moderation? didnt aoun (and charl ayoub) threaten wesam 7asan with death on tv?.

Thumb bananasplit 19 January 2013, 01:22

We are a barbaric, morally bankrupt and blood thirsty people. I am so disgusted with 'us', with our addiction to drama and lies and corruption and total inability to learn anything from thousands of years of the same crap happening over and over again....

Missing cedars 19 January 2013, 04:40

Let us not forget that those who supported the terrorists are getting shot at by the terrorists. Let us not forget who broke up the Lebanese Army and called it Arab Army under Tless.

Default-user-icon Truth (Guest) 19 January 2013, 09:11

We are getting to the point where, after having been slaughter material for decades, some people on the ground are showing the terrorists too, THEY can be victims of the methods they invented in the first place and ruled with...This being said, I don't wish Karami any harm. He is irrelevent anyway on the political map...

Thumb andre.jabbour 19 January 2013, 11:21

A mafia battling another mafia. Let them neutralize each other.