Geagea says 'confrontation' will continue, but it's not 'sectarian or ethnic'


Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Friday vowed that “the confrontation will continue,” in the wake of the murder of LF official Pascal Sleiman in the Jbeil district.

“The confrontation will continue until we reach a real, true, firm and final shore of safety,” Geagea told mourners via video link during Sleiman’s funeral in Jbeil.

“Our confrontation is not for exacting vengeance and is not a reaction. It is not a sectarian, regional or ethnic confrontation, but rather for transiting from the bitter, painful, criminal and failed situation that we have been living in for years to a new and aspired situation, like all the societies of the civilized world, where one lives in safety, stability, freedom and dignity,” the LF leader added.

“The confrontation will continue because without it things will not be resolved, although it might be long, because drastic, actual and serious solutions require time, effort, exhaustion and perseverance,” Geagea went on to say.

He added: “Let no one bet on our despair, because we shall not despair. Let no one bet on our tiredness, because we will not get tired. Let no one bet on our retreat, because we will not surrender.”

Sleiman was killed during an attempt to steal his car Sunday in the Jbeil district, the Lebanese Army announced on Monday, after the man’s reported abduction raised tensions in the country and prompted protesters to block the vital Jbeil highway.

“The army’s Intelligence Directorate has managed to arrest most of the Syrian members of the gang that carried out the abduction operation,” the army said in a statement.

“During their interrogation, it turned out that the abductee was killed by them during their attempt to steal his car in the Jbeil region and that they transferred his body to Syria,” the army added.

Political and religious leaders in Lebanon have condemned the incident, while Grand Jaafarite Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Qabalan has warned against "political exploitation" and "sectarian mobilization."

According to reports, a car with a foreign license plate and with four armed men inside it had intercepted Suleiman’s car as he returned from a funeral in the town of al-Kharbeh, between the town of Lehfed and the Mayfouq-Haqel road.

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