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Maronite League Team Prevented from Surveying Patriarchate Lands in Lasa

A number of residents of the Byblos District town of Lasa on Thursday attacked a delegation from the Maronite League which was surveying lands owned by the Maronite Patriarchate in the town, Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) reported.

Army troops intervened to end the attack on the delegation, which was accompanied by a Maronite priest and a number of the area’s residents, the radio station said.

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Pietton Confirms Release of Estonians through Lebanese-Estonian Efforts

French Ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton praised on Thursday the release of the seven abducted Estonians, which was achieved through an intense investigation.

Pietton held a meeting with Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, who said that the “visit was scheduled a while ago… to get to know Minister Mansour.”

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Charbel Confirms Arrest of Nine Suspects Involved in Estonian Abduction

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel revealed on Thursday that the seven abducted Estonians were released at dawn, stressing that nine people were arrested in the case, including Lebanese and different nationals.

He said after leaving the French Embassy in Lebanon: “The Lebanese state participated from a distance in the operation.”

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Jumblat Discusses Latest Developments with Iran’s Ambassador

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat discussed on Thursday the latest regional and international developments with Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi, reported the National News Agency.

The meeting was held in the presence of Transportation and Public Works Minister Ghazi al-Aridi.

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Lebanon to Send Diplomatic and Legal File to U.N. on Demarcation of Maritime Border

The ministerial committee charged with tackling the issue of the demarcation of Lebanon’s maritime border with Israel is set to prepare a legal and diplomatic file ahead of presenting the case to the United Nations, revealed Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour to An Nahar daily in remarks published on Thursday.

The daily noted that an international understanding of Lebanon’s position on Israel’s latest stand on the matter has emerged, saying that the U.N. should handle this file according to international and maritime laws.

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Finance and Electricity Vital Issues to be Tackled by Cabinet

The cabinet’s meeting on Thursday is set to tackle 71 articles, none of which are related to people’s everyday concerns in order to avoid addressing the accumulated critical issues, al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Thursday.

The government will discuss a plan set by Energy and Water Minister Jebran Bassil to provide the citizens with electricity on the long term, but it should be addressing how to provide it for the summer season during which the electrical network becomes overloaded, said the newspaper.

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Al-Rahi Holds Suleiman and Aoun Responsible of Christians’ Rights

The Christian meeting that will take place Thursday at Bkirki under the sponsorship of Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi is expected to address the Christian appointments in the state institutions.

The appointments will be one of the highlighted issues discussed during the meeting aimed at bridging the gap between Christians.

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Charbel Slams Politicians’ Interference in Security Institutions

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said that only Internal Security Forces chief Major General Ashraf Rifi has the authority to shuffle the positions of officers in the ISF, including that of 12 officers and the appointment of colonel Naji al-Masri as caretaker judiciary police chief.

He made his statement in response to former minister Wiam Wahhab’s accusations on Wednesday that the Interior Minister had “appointed Masri as judiciary police chief by force.”

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Released Estonians Tell Judge of Abductors Affiliation, Ideology

Seven kidnapped Estonians were freed in Lebanon on Thursday, almost four months since armed men abducted them as they entered the country on a bicycle tour from neighboring Syria.

Later on Thursday, Military Investigative Judge Fadi Sawwan heard the testimonies of the seven men in his office at the Military Court in Beirut.

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Interpol Issues Red Notices for Suspects Wanted by STL

The global police agency Interpol issued on Wednesday issued Red Notices, or international wanted persons alerts, for four men indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on suspicion of the 2005 murder of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Interpol said the names would be distributed to police forces but not made public at the request of the U.N.-backed court, although they have already been leaked in Beirut and confirmed as members of Hizbullah.

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