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Aoun Again Denies Insulting Sunnis, Says Political Life Proof of his Good Ties with Muslims

Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun denied on Saturday that he had insulted Sunnis, saying his political life was proof of his good ties with all Muslims.

A statement released by his press office, said that after the FPM chief denied reports about his alleged insult of the Sunni sect, the campaign by some clerics against the lawmaker continued.

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Hundreds Demand Government to Free Detained Syrians

Hundreds of protesters gathered in north Lebanon on Saturday to demand caretaker government release Syrian refugees who are reportedly being held by the army.

Some 500 people gathered in the Bab al-Tebbaneh neighborhood of Tripoli in the north to voice support for anti-government protesters in Syria and demand the release of any refugees who could be held in Lebanon.

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Nahhas Says State Emerged Victorious as he Reportedly Hands over Telecom Data to ISF

Caretaker Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahhas refused to describe a decision for the Lebanese army to take control of a telecom building in Beirut’s Adliyeh area as a settlement.

“What happened is a victory of the logic of the state and the law and not (a victory) of a person or a party,” Nahhas told As Safir daily in remarks published Saturday.

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March 14, Hizbullah Rattle Sabers over ‘Militia Practices’ in Telecom Building

The March 14 forces and Hizbullah have engaged in a war of words over the “militia practices” in the facility affiliated with the telecommunications ministry in Beirut’s Adliyeh area on Thursday.

The March 14 general-secretariat said in a statement on Saturday in reference to Hizbullah that “the militia” which turned its arms against the Lebanese during the May 7, 2008 events and carried out a “coup” against Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri’s government in January this year “does not have the right to accuse anyone of making a coup against the state and its institutions.”

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Kuwaiti Man Released as State Security Arrests Kidnapper

A Kuwaiti citizen was released after he was kidnapped and blackmailed to pay 2 million dollars to the abductors, a communique issued overnight by the General Directorate of State Security said.

Mount Lebanon Regional Directorate guaranteed the release of Kuwaiti citizen Y. J. less than 48 hours after the abduction, said the communiqué. Without giving further details, it said the man was kidnapped on May 24 with the force of arm.

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Diplomats Hint Syria’s Involvement in UNIFIL Bombing

Diplomatic sources have hinted about Syria's involvement in the roadside bomb that ripped through a U.N. convoy in southern Lebanon on Friday after threats by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem that the European Union would regret its sanctions against President Bashar Assad.

The sources told An Nahar and al-Joumhouria dailies on Saturday that the bombing came after Muallem threatened that “Syria will not remain silent” to the EU measures against Assad.

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Hizbullah Accepts Jumblat’s Remarks and his ‘Good Intentions’

Hizbullah parliamentary sources said Saturday that Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has blamed Hizbullah for the government deadlock out of his keenness on the quick formation of the new cabinet.

The sources said that they accept his remarks because they know that he has “good intentions.”

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Jumblat Confirms Blaming Hizbullah for Deadlock Out of Keenness on Resistance, Stability

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has confirmed that he blamed Hizbullah for the cabinet impasse out of his keenness on the resistance and its achievements.

In a statement posted on his party’s website, the Druze leader admitted to saying that Hizbullah did not want the government to be formed and was putting Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun at the forefront.

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Frattini Says Italy ‘Seeking Proper Way Out’ of South Lebanon

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said that his country is seeking a proper way to reduce its peacekeeping unit in Lebanon and it is discussing the issue with the concerned parties, news agencies reported.

“We intent on carrying out this decision, we will find the proper way to do it,” Frattini said.

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Estonia's Muslims Urge Freedom for Lebanon Kidnap Victims

Estonia's small Muslim community on Friday appealed to the people of Lebanon and Syria to help secure the release of seven tourists from the Baltic state kidnapped in Lebanon in March.

"We are turning to all of you to help release the tourists from Estonia, because they are as close to all of us as the members of your families are to you," Timur Seifullen and Mufti Ildar Muhamedshin, the leaders of the Estonian Islamic Congregation, said in a joint statement.

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