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Mustaqbal Delegation Visits Arsal, Calls for Transparent Probe into Army Ambush

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A Mustaqbal movement delegation that visited the eastern border town of Arsal on Sunday called for a fair and transparent investigation into the ambush of an army patrol that left two soldiers dead.

MP Atef Majdalani, who spoke in the name of the delegation, said “everyone wants the truth and a transparent probe to achieve justice.”

“I thank Arsal residents for announcing they are under the law and part of the state. They and the army are united,” he said.

Majdalani said that relations between the town, which has been neglected, and the state can't remain cut. “We are trying to resolve this problem.”

Arsal municipal chief Ali al-Hujairi reiterated the request of the town's residents for army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji to hear the two versions of the story.

The army said that last Friday a patrol was ambushed by Arsal gunmen as it was hunting a man wanted for several terrorist acts.

The clashes that ensued left an officer with the rank of captain, Pierre Bashaalani, and Sergeant Ibrahim Zahraman dead, and several military personnel wounded, it said.

But Arsal residents claimed that the soldiers were in civilian clothes and hadn't informed the town's authorities that they were planning to carry out a raid.

A Sheikh from Baalbek, Abbas Yazbek, also addressed reporters during the Mustaqbal delegation's visit, saying “everyone should assume responsibility. “

“The army is targeted so is Arsal. We call for a transparent probe to end the confusion,” he said.

“We hope that the army would deal with the residents of Arsal like the rest of the Lebanese,” Yazbek added.

The delegation that included MPs Bassem al-Shab, Jamal al-Jarrah, Amin Wehbi and Assem Araji passed by the town of Mreijet ahead of their visit to Arsal to offer their condolences to Bashaalani's family.

The army has set up checkpoints at Arsal's entrances and held several people involved in the ambush.

LBCI TV said that State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr will on Monday charge around 30 people.

Comments 5
Default-user-icon hertash (Guest) 10 February 2013, 17:49

The army should arrest these low lives before they enter the den of al-Qaeda and the other filthy Sunni crazies and hang them by their ding dongs (assuming that they have one).

Missing helicopter 10 February 2013, 17:51

ambush of an army patrol anywhere by anyone is unacceptable and transparent investigation into the ambush is a must. Being under the law and part of the state is a must not a choice. Hearing the two versions of the story should be done by the judiciary and not by one person Army chief Qahwaji and is part of the transparent investigation. The army SHOULD deal with the residents of Arsal like the rest of the Lebanese (INCLUDING those areas controlled by HEZB). And finally the Government should not neglect Arsal ..... just like most of Lebanon is neglected as the fat wallets of the politicians get fatter by the day.
I want to run for the Parlaiment, vote for me.

Thumb primesuspect 10 February 2013, 18:01

I'll vote 4 u if you promise not to take off once you're elected, helicopter :p

Missing helicopter 10 February 2013, 19:12

And who blames you for thinking that prmesuspect, this is what we all have experienced. The love of power and money overcomes the power of love and doing what is right. And the rare few that are not swayed by power and money get eliminated or side-lined by the big sharks.

Thumb primesuspect 10 February 2013, 19:22

If the sharks you're describing are those who are used to shoot at Lebanese helicopter pilots on lebanese soil then you're out of luck... because there's no justice with them around.