Reports: Clash Erupts between Baqaata Residents, Hizbullah Convoy

A spat broke out on Monday between residents from the Shouf town of Baqaata and a security convoy belonging to Hizbullah, media reports said, as another unconfirmed report said the clash erupted after the discovery of a Hizbullah telecom network in the area.

“A convoy comprising three cars with tinted windows and carrying gunmen made its way from Niha towards Shouf's towns, but it raised suspicions as it passed through the town of Mristi, prompting a young man from the town to intercept the convoy and inquire about its destination,” LBCI television reported.

“The members of the convoy claimed that they are army intelligence agents and continued their trip towards the town of Baqaata after passing through al-Mukhtara,” it added.

But contacts were made with the army's Intelligence Directorate which confirmed that the convoy does not belong to it, LBCI said.

It quoted a security source as saying that “the convoy belongs to Hizbullah and it was probably carrying a party official.”

“The members of the convoy told the army that they went astray as they crossed from Jezzine,” LBCI added.

As the cars arrived in Baqaata, “a clash erupted with residents from the area and the vehicles sustained material damage.”

“Army intelligence agents intervened to end the clash and escorted the cars for a certain distance before letting them go on their own,” the TV network reported.

Meanwhile, Radio Voice of Lebanon (100.5) said the Progressive Socialist Party stressed that the Baqaata case is now in the hands of the army, adding that the PSP called for unveiling the circumstances of the incident as soon as possible.

The PSP “received a series of phone calls from Hizbullah that were aimed at containing the repercussions of the clash.”

“One of the suspicious cars in Baqaata tried to flee from the army's patrol, hitting two people during the attempt,” the radio station added.

Sources close to the PSP confirmed to Radio Voice of Lebanon that the convoy belonged to Hizbullah.

Later on Monday, the radio station reported that “the Baqaata spat erupted after residents discovered an illegal telecom network belonging to Hizbullah that passes through their town all the way to al-Mukhtara.”

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