Army says Tripoli boat was 'conducting maneuvers' when it collided with navy vessel
The Lebanese Army said Sunday that a boat that capsized off Tripoli was conducting escape "maneuvers" when it "collided" with a Lebanese army vessel, after some survivors accused the navy of deliberately ramming the boat.
Several survivors had told local TV stations that the Lebanese navy is to blame for the incident. They said a military ship rammed their migrant boat twice, damaging it, in an effort to force it to return to the coast.
Col. Haitham Dinnawi, commander of the Lebanese navy, told reporters the migrant boat was old and only capable of carrying six people. He added that no precautionary measures were taken on the boat and no one was wearing life vests.
Dinnawi blamed the captain of the migrant boat for maneuvering to avoid being forced to return back to shore and blamed him for ramming into one of two navy vessels. He showed photographs of the damage on the side and back of one navy boat.
"It was a crime to take people on such a boat," Dinnawi said, adding that it was manufactured in 1974 and carrying 15 times its capacity. He said search operations are still ongoing for the missing adding that they have recovered the bodies of six people so far, including five on Sunday and one on Saturday.
The survivors said that the navy boats hit the boat twice on purpose.
The officer who took the decision to do that has to be prosecuted asap.
What a “navy”, a criminal one just like the commander in chief.
The captain needs to be held accountable and sentenced to hard labour and life imprisonment.