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Rifi Demands Legal Action against Arsonists who Torched ISIL Flag

Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi vowed to legally pursue a number of protesters who set ablaze a flag for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The minister said in a statement issued by his press office that the ISIL flag has the first pillar of Islam (Ashahada) written on it, which is the testimony that there is no God except for Allah and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah.

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Passports, Currency Forging Network Busted in Zahle

The General Directorate of State Security arrested on Saturday a fraud ring in the eastern city of Zahle.

The ring is reportedly specialized in counterfeiting currency, passports and entrance and exit paper from and into Lebanon.

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Salam Urges Unity in Fight against Jihadists

Prime Minister Tammam Salam voiced fears on Saturday of the deteriorating security situation in Lebanon and the region, in light of the escalation in terrorist group activities.

"The information available to military sources is definitely not appeasing. I can say that it is more likely to be worrying,” Salam told al-Joumhouria daily.

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Report: Doubts Loom over Beheading of al-Sayyed by IS

Conflicting reports emerged over the validity of images showing a Lebanese soldier beheaded by an alleged Islamic State militant calling himself Abu Musaab Hafid al-Baghdadi.

Security sources questioned, in comments published in the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat on Saturday, the validity of the pictures, estimating that the beheaded man is not soldier Ali al-Sayyed.

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Berri Expresses Fear over Arsal Situation, Calls for Averting Sedition

Speaker Nabih Berri expressed concern on Saturday over the developments in the northeastern border town of Arsal, calling for “awareness to avert sedition.”

“The current stage is very delicate... Awareness is required to avoid falling into sedition,” Berri said according to al-Akhbar newspaper.

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Mashnouq Warns: Syrian Refugees at Risk if Arsal Captives Harmed

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq reiterated warnings on Saturday that around 1.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon will be at risk if any security personnel taken hostage on the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal was harmed.

The Islamist abductors “should be aware that they are putting the 1.1 million Syrian refugees currently in Lebanon at risk due to their actions and threats,” Mashnouq said in comments published in An Nahar newspaper.

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Syrian Army, Hizbullah Engaged in Fierce Battles on Outskirts of Tufail

The Syrian army and Hizbullah fighters are locked in a fierce battle with Islamist gunmen to control the Lebanese eastern border village of Tufail, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Saturday.

Security sources told the newspaper that the Syrian army, backed by Hizbullah, is advancing from the north on the outskirts of Tufail village.

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Suriname Leader Son Pleads Guilty over Hizbullah in U.S.

The son of the leader of Suriname pled guilty in New York on Friday to attempting to provide material support to Hizbullah, conspiring to traffic cocaine and a firearms offense.

Dino Bouterse, 41, a former counter-terrorism chief in his South American country who has already served time for drugs and weapons trafficking, now faces spending 15 years in a U.S. prison.

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Flames Set Ablaze More than 70 Refugee Tents in Zahle

A huge fire erupted on Friday afternoon in Sahel al-Fayda area on the outskirts of the Bekaa city of Zahle, setting several refugee tents ablaze.

The fire set ablaze “more than 70 tents,” LBCI television reported, adding that civil defense forces rushed to the scene to contain the flames.

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9 Kidnapped Troops Appear in New Video as Muslim Scholars Say 'Can't Confirm or Deny' Reports of Sergeant's Beheading

The Muslim Scholars Committee, who was tasked with negotiating with jihadist fighters on the case of troops abducted during the Arsal clashes on the border with Syria, could not deny or confirm on Friday reports about the slaughtering of an army sergeant who hails from the northern Akkar town of Fneideq.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State-linked Fajr al-Islam Brigade aired late on Friday a videotape featuring several kidnapped army troops calling on their parents to block roads and pressure the cabinet to release them in exchange for Islamist inmates held in Roumieh.

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