Saqr to Tackle Arsal Clash File as Miqati Places Priority on Arresting Assailants

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General Prosecutor Judge Hatem Madi tasked on Friday State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr with following up on the recent Arsal clash, as Prime Minister Najib Miqati stressed the need for the army to restore stability in the Bekaa town, reported the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat on Saturday.

Miqati had told An Nahar daily: “We are placing priority at the moment on arresting the assailants.”

He called for an investigation to be launched in the clash, hoping that this issue would not be exploited politically or by the media.

The clash erupted on February 1 as the army sought to apprehend a wanted suspect in Arsal.

Two officers, Pierre Bashaalani and Ibrahim Zahraman, and the suspect, Khaled Hmayyed, were killed in the unrest.

Meanwhile, al-Hayat reported that the army has continued its security measures in the town as it seeks to arrest suspects wanted in the clash.

It arrested on Friday Syrian nationals Mohammed and Jamal Seifeddine as they were riding on a motorcycle from a region east of the outskirts of Arsal.

It also arrested three days ago three Syrians who were not in possession of any identification papers.

They have since been released from the General Security's custody after it was found that they were not linked to the Arsal incident.

Meanwhile, a number of Arsal authorities have sought to restore calm in the town, requesting that they meet with President Michel Suleiman, Miqati, and Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji.

They added that the Syrians that have been arrested for allegedly being linked to the clash are not affiliated with the Free Syrian Army as some media reports had said.

The FSA is not present in the town, they asserted.

The Zahraman family later held a press conference to address the Arsal clash.

MP Khaled Zahraman said: “Bashaalani and Zahraman's deaths are a loss for Akkar and the whole of Lebanon, as well as that of the army.”

“In order to erase any speculation, the family condemns the attack against the army and calls for cooperation with the institution in order for justice to take its course to prevent any incitement and exploitation of the incident,” he added.

“We express our unlimited loyalty to the army and reject any assault against it,” he continued.

“The army guarantees our security and stability, especially during this critical time,” stated the MP.

“Our family rejects the mentality of vengeance and we ares certain the case is in safe hands,” Zahraman said.

“We are confident in Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji's ability to tackle the repercussions of the tragedy … and ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and tried away from political exploitation,” he stressed.

Comments 5
Missing 09 February 2013, 13:55

Karim would have made an excellent chinese propaganda writer during the chinese cultural revolution. Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrels. If the lebanese army moves to disarm the hizb, we will see how many of these cheerleaders will stick around. When the lebanese government ordered an investigation into the hizb illegal communication network, beirut and the jabal were stormed. There are large areas in lebanon where the army and unifil are not allowed access without prior approval. Hizb is protecting the accused in killing a former PM and attempt to kill a sitting MP and noone dares to arrest them. Hypocrisy indeed knows no bound.

Missing 09 February 2013, 17:48

The1phoenix. --- You are right! Take the "ar" out of Karim and it is Kim. :)

Missing 09 February 2013, 13:59

For those purporting to support the army, this is your chance to vote now: do you support unity of arm - this means that no arms outside the control of the state and no militias (yes or no)

Missing cedars 09 February 2013, 18:25

Hang those who attacked the army in a public place so that it's a lesson learned. Enough killing our children.
Also, hang those destabilizing the country and inviting the evil-israel to destroy it.

Thumb rover98 10 February 2013, 03:04

The cause of the all Lebanon's current instability and lawlessness is a result of Hezbollah arrogance in thinking its special and is above the law which sends a message to everyone else that the state is deficient.