Lebanon
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Report: Hariri Says Geagea's Chances to Reach Baabda Limited

Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader MP Saad Hariri had said recently that Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea's chances to reach the Baabda Palace faded away.

Al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Saturday that Hariri informed Kataeb party MP Sami Gemayel that Geagea will not reach the presidential palace in Baabda.

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8 Troops, Several Gunmen Wounded in Violent Clashes across Tripoli

Fierce clashes erupted Friday evening in the northern city of Tripoli, leaving at least eight army troops, including a first lieutenant, and several gunmen and civilians wounded.

Meanwhile, al-Jadeed TV said 15 people were injured, including eight troops. It said the army's casualties include a first lieutenant who was “critically wounded.”

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DNA Confirms Asoun Body is Akkoumi's as Report Says Ahmed Miqati 'Communicated with al-Daher'

DNA tests have confirmed that the scorched body at the raided Dinniyeh apartment is that of defected soldier Abdul Qader al-Akkoumi, the army announced on Friday, as preliminary investigations revealed that the arrested dangerous militant Ahmed Salim Miqati had been “communicating” with al-Mustaqbal bloc MP Khaled al-Daher.

Army intelligence agents on Thursday raided an apartment in the town of Asoun in the northern district of Dinniyeh, which was inhabited by a “group of terrorists,” killing three gunmen and apprehending a fugitive.

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Pharaon's Son Sues Fattoush as Bar Association Drops Him from Its List

A son of Tourism Minister Michel Pharaon on Friday filed a slander lawsuit against MP Nicolas Fattoush after the latter revealed in a news conference that he had submitted an “adultery” suit against the minister.

Meanwhile, LBCI television said “the Beirut Bar Association has removed the name of MP Nicolas Fattoush from its list of lawyers,” after the lawmaker lashed out at the head of the association George Jreij during the same televised speech.

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Qahwaji Briefs Salam on Asoun Raid that 'Spared North Dangerous Attacks'

Army chief General Jean Qahwaji briefed Prime Minister Tammam Salam on Friday on the details of the latest Dinniyeh raid, which led to the arrest and death of dangerous gunmen.

Qahwaji discussed in his visit to the Grand Serail “the security developments and efforts exerted by the army to fight terrorism in the country,” said the National News Agency.

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Fuel Station Fire Guts Part of Building, Several Vehicles

A huge fire erupted Friday at Tabet fuel station in the Mar Semaan neighborhood in the northern coastal town of Byblos, causing major damage and gutting four floors of an adjacent building.

The fire broke out while a fuel tanker was pumping fuel into the storage of the station, which is located near Saint George church, creating bumper-to-bumper traffic in the area.

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Akkar Security Patrol Attacked from Syrian Territories

A security patrol came under fire in an area bordering Syria in the northern Akkar district, the state-run National News Agency reported Friday.

NNA said the vehicle was targeted by gunfire from Syria near the town of Qashlaq.

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Daryan Appeals for Support to Constitutional Institutions, Rejects Infighting

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan on Friday called on the Lebanese to hold onto the state and its constitutional institutions and rejected the use of religion as a cover to gain power.

“Our project is the unified state and the single army and coexistence,” Daryan said in a statement on the occasion of the Islamic New Year.

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Akkoumi's YouTube Video Key Thread in Unveiling Asoun Network

The analysis of the YouTube video of defected soldier Abdul Qader Akkoumi, who has been reportedly ambushed along with the terror network in the town of Asoun in the northern area of Dinniyeh, was the main thread in unveiling the location of the busted cell.

According to As Safir newspaper published on Friday, the YouTube video of Akkoumi's defection from the army, in which he announced joining the ranks of the Islamic State jihadist group, was shot by a cellular phone on the outskirts of Dinniyeh.

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EU Official Says he Pressed Lebanese Politicians on Elections

A top European Union official said he informed Lebanese officials during his visit to Beirut that the presidential and parliamentary elections should be held to have a healthy democracy

Hugues Mingarelli, who is the Managing Director for North Africa, Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq at the European External Action Service, said: “You have a democracy and there are routine elections and a multi-party system.”

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