Sidon MPs Hand Suleiman Memo Urging Referral of Clashes Case to Judicial Councilإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Sidon's MPs Fouad Saniora and Bahia Hariri on Friday handed President Michel Suleiman a memo demanding the referral of the case of the Sidon clashes to the Judicial Council and the prevention of all armed activities in the city.
The memo also urged the removal of all political flags from the city and the closure of all offices belonging to “armed groups.”
"The case of the Sidon-Abra clashes must be referred to the Judicial Council, as the incidents that happened in Sidon might jeopardize civil peace and the country's domestic security," says the memo.
It also urges that the state commissioner to the military court personally handle the investigation until it is referred to the Judicial Council.
Human Rights Watch said Friday there must be an independent investigation into claims the army is committing abuses against people suspected of links to the weekend clashes in which 18 soldiers were killed and more than 20 others wounded.
The fighting in Abra outside Sidon was among the worst in Lebanon since the outbreak of conflict in neighboring Syria 27 months ago deepened sectarian tensions.
It highlighted widespread Sunni resentment against the army, accused of siding with Hizbullah and being selective in its crackdown on armed groups.
A security source said dozens of people have been arrested since the army seized Asir's Abra headquarters on Monday.
Sidon residents claim the bodies of those killed have not been given to their families.
On Thursday, the army handed over to the military police soldiers suspected of humiliating and beating a man suspected of ties to Asir. A military source told Agence France Presse: "We do not accept this kind of behavior."
Sunni clerics, meanwhile, distributed images via Facebook of a body bearing marks of a severe beating.
The body was identified as Nader al-Bayoumy, whom the Association of Muslim Scholars said had "turned himself in" after the Abra clash.
Tension was also palpable in Tripoli in the north, with some Friday worshipers calling for jihad (holy war).
Salafist cleric Sheikh Salem al-Rafehi echoed calls for an investigation into alleged army abuses.
"The Lebanese army must be neutral, and we will not be silent now," Rafehi said.
Armed men fired into the air after prayers as worshipers thronged to Tripoli's main square and blocked roads in the city that has seen frequent Syria-related clashes.
In Beirut, dozens staged a sit-in in the Tariq al-Jedideh district.