Shahhal Cancels Tripoli Protest, Averting Showdown with Army

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Salafist cleric Dai al-Islam al-Shahhal canceled on Friday a sit-in that he had called for in the northern city of Tripoli in protest against the army’s crackdown on gunmen, averting a showdown with the military.

Shahhal said that he would replace the protest with prayers at the Grand Mansouri Mosque.

There were fears on Friday that the protest would spiral out of control, a day after skirmishes between the army and angry gunmen, which sources said left a soldier dead.

The army did not confirm the report late Thursday but urged “everyone to cooperate with the army's measures … which aim at restoring security and stability in the city.”

Several suspects were arrested, it said in a communique.

Some of the Sunni gunmen opened fire on army patrols on Thursday to protest raids carried out across Tripoli to arrest fighters, who engaged in deadly gunbattles with their rivals from the Alawite sect.

Al-Shahhal's announcement that he had canceled the protest was seen as a triumph for contacts among officials aimed at sparing the city a major escalation.

But al-Shahhal accused the army of being biased, telling LBCI that some of its officers were bypassing the law.

The latest fighting comes after authorities decided on Monday to place Tripoli under army control for six months after a wave of sectarian killings linked to Syria's war left scores of casualties.

Residents of the Sunni district of Bab al-Tabbaneh had been locked in fighting with people in the neighboring Alawite district of Jabal Mohsen since Saturday.

Tensions between the neighborhoods date back to Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war but have been exacerbated by the conflict across the border in Syria, where Alawite President Bashar Assad is battling a Sunni-led uprising.

Comments 16
Thumb EagleDawn 06 December 2013, 11:34

Wise decision to avoid anymore bloodshed. All must submit to the State and respect the law.

Thumb _mowaten_ 06 December 2013, 12:20

he's just chickening out after threatening the army and insulting its integrity.
the reason is not averting bloodshed, since he defends gunmen who do nothing but spill blood uselessly. what he fears is that his boys would cross a line and then he would have to shave his beard and wear a skirt to escape, like assir.

Thumb _mowaten_ 06 December 2013, 12:48

no but i'm considering a career in child psychology and emotional trauma to try to help you get over it.

Thumb FlameCatcher 06 December 2013, 12:52

@mowaten :

I agree with you on the above.

However (and this is always my problem with you), I would like to understand what Hezbollah gunmen do other than spilling blood too ?

I would like to understand why you accept a Shiite paramilitary organisation but object to a Sunni one.

Why you consider that Hezbollah is not also an Extremist Jihadist and Islamist organisation.

I'm more affraid of Sunni extremists than Hezbollah. Hezbollah is nonetheless extremist too and fits the same description.

They hide behind the fake banner of a Lebanese Resistance but have shown nothing to appear as such.

They are ONE sect. They are Islamists. They are Jihadists. They are Extremists. And they are Terrorists (just because a big chunk of Lebanese fear them... I won't argue numbers with you.).

All I want from Hezbollah is a clear roadmap to disarmement. It may take 1, 5 or 10 years but I want a clear plan for them to disarm and be part of the rebuilding effort of Lebanon.

Thumb _mowaten_ 06 December 2013, 14:30

FlameCatcher: i have little hope that you can be objective, given all our previous discussions, but i'll still give it a try. i know you have decided out of pure bias that they are behind every killing, every assassination, but do you see hezbollah men sitting on roofs sniping passersby? do you see hezbollah men attacking people based on their religion? do you see them making threats and calling for the killing of people?

it has nothing to do with shia or sunni, and the people fighting hezbollah have killed more sunnis than they killed shias.
the problem in tripoli is not just with the sunni gunmen, it is with the alawite one as well. both of them have weapons and use them against the interior, and they serve no purpose for lebanon.

whether you like them or not, hezbollah served many great causes for lebanon, they liberated the south and created a deterrence force against israeli threats. what have the gunmen in tripoli done?

Default-user-icon teacher (Guest) 06 December 2013, 12:18

Another Assir to be eliminated

Missing watan-libnan 06 December 2013, 12:26

In my opinion i think people should take a deep breath and think about their actions in which i think has happened here the law and army are for peace and harmony not for conflict with its people let justice run its course in all matters eventually it will be a fair outcome for all lebanese .

Thumb shab 06 December 2013, 12:28

Papa Noel

Thumb eli-g 06 December 2013, 13:25

There must have been a plan of action before the army went in. So, they started with bab eltebenneh and the greater Tripoly. The question that comes to mind is, are they going into or have they entered Jabal Mohsen? They are arresting the thugs from bab eltebenneh,GOOD. The question is, are they going to arrest jabal Mohsen thugs also? Are they going to get the alleged master mind of the twin mosque bombings and his son as well?

Thumb _mowaten_ 06 December 2013, 14:42

they are in jabal mohsen already, actually they deployed there about two weeks before they got the ok to deploy in bab el tabbaneh.
and yes, they must arrest thugs from all sides, not just one, but i guess the priority should be to get those who are shooting on them to establish their authority first.

Thumb _mowaten_ 06 December 2013, 14:43

don't worry samy, you are amazing too. i'm impressed you managed to make a comment without a single dirty word.

Thumb cedre 06 December 2013, 14:44

at least he was not caught raping children...

Thumb lebanon_first 06 December 2013, 16:07

It is good we have people like chamel roukoz who put their foot on the ground and said enough and chased Assir. This caused this shahhal medieval character to think twice before carrying out from his stupid demonstrations.

It would be a dream if by the same token the chiite militias HA and Amal would start fearing the authority of the army and be forced to abide by the law.

Thumb beiruti 06 December 2013, 19:46

The problem with Lebanon is too many bearded robed men like this one, Nasrallah and the rest are making political decisions when they should be about religious matters. If they want to be politicians, then shave the beards, but on suits and ties, stop having people kiss your rings and get into the political arena.

Thumb Mystic 07 December 2013, 19:11

cedre_Al Qaeda forever

Default-user-icon Ashmas el nas (Guest) 09 December 2013, 09:53

I say it once and for all
Hizballah = Qaeda

The only difference is one wears black and the other wears white