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Clashes Erupt in Outskirts of Bekaa Towns of Deir al-Ghazal, Qusaya

Armed clashes broke out on Wednesday evening on the Lebanese-Syrian border outside the Bekaa towns of Deir al-Ghazal and Qusaya, in an area that has been witnessing near-daily skirmishes with Syria-based militants.

“Clashes are underway in the outskirts of the towns of Deir al-Ghazal and Qusaya on Syria's border,” Lebanon's National News Agency reported.

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Families of Arsal Captives Escalate Protests over 'Procrastination' in Negotiations

The families of the captive troops and policemen burned tires on Wednesday evening at the Riad al-Solh Square in downtown Beirut over perceived “procrastination” in negotiations to free their loved ones, despite reports of a meeting between Qatar's mediator and al-Nusra Front.

“Relatives of hostage servicemen set tires ablaze in Riad al-Solh over reports of procrastination in the negotiations,” Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) said.

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Israel Stages Live Ammo Drill in Shebaa Farms

The Israeli army on Wednesday carried out a live ammunition maneuver in the occupied Shebaa Farms, Lebanon's National News Agency said.

“The Israeli army has been conducting a live ammo drill inside the occupied Shebaa Farms since 5:00 pm,” NNA reported in the evening.

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Al-Rahi: We Reject Any Talk of Trilateral Power-Sharing, Constituent Assembly

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi renewed on Wednesday his sharp criticism over the political forces' failure to elect a president for the country, rejecting any talk of trilateral power-sharing between the major sects.

“There is talk nowadays about a constituent assembly and we reject from this moment any debate over trilateral power-sharing … because that would be a violation of the (1943 National) Pact,” said al-Rahi during a dinner hosted by the Maronite parish in the Australian city of Adelaide.

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Qahwaji: No Secret Deals Will Occur at Expense of Our Martyrs' Blood

Army chief General Jean Qahwaji on Wednesday reassured “there will be no bargaining at the expense of the blood of the martyrs” who fell in the northern regions of Tripoli and Minieh, stressing that the fugitive gunmen will be arrested “no matter how long it takes.”

“The martyrs and the injured soldiers' blood will not go in vain," said Qahwaji during a visit to the Aley district, where he offered condolences to the families of slain officers Jihad al-Habr and Firas al-Hakim, who were killed in the latest clashes in the North.

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Dangerous Fugitive Arrested in Sidon amid Intensive Army Measures

The army pressed on with its crackdown in the southern city of Sidon on Wednesday, arresting a dangerous fugitives and seizing landmines that turned out to be obsolete.

"A number of assault rifles and their ammunition in addition to military equipment and parts of 6 anti-vehicle landmines were seized during a raid in Siroub, Sidon," the army said in a statement.

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March 14 Says Tripoli Battle Ended Attempts to Label Lebanese as 'Supporters and Critics of Army'

The March 14 forces on Wednesday called on Hizbullah to put an end to “the duality of two armies and two decisions in one country,” noting that attempts to “label the Lebanese as supporters and critics of the army” were refuted by the latest Tripoli battle.

“The national solidarity with the army, especially by the residents of Tripoli, Dinniyeh, Minieh and Akkar, has proved once again how much these regions are committed to Lebanon as an irreversible choice,” the March 14 General Secretariat said in a statement issued after its weekly meeting.

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Several Hurt as LF, FPM Students Clash at NDU

Two brawls erupted Wednesday at the Notre Dame University in Louaize between students belonging to the Lebanese Forces and others from the Free Patriotic Movement.

LBCI television said the two-phase clash broke out over the issue of “raising electoral banners, two days ahead of the scheduled student elections at NDU.”

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Saudi Ambassador Warns of Rift between Lebanon, Regional Countries

Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awadh Asiri slammed on Wednesday statements that would cause contention with regional countries, calling on Lebanese politicians to avoid stances that harm the national interests.

“We urge all sides to be reasonable and avert rifts with nearby countries,” Asiri told reporters after talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail.

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Parliament Fails to Elect President for 15th Time

Lawmakers failed on Wednesday for the fifteenth time to elect a new president over a lack of quorum at parliament.

The next elections session has been scheduled for November 19.

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