News from Beirut October 25  1997 ...Search

Security Dragnet In Rural Hermel- Sheikh Subhi Tufeili Move

Sheikh Tufeili move tomorrow will be 24 hours after the security dragnet in rural Hermel. The question is what will be the result of the confrontation. Both the government and Tufeili warn of measures on the ground. Sheikh Tufeili this evening said he has no other option and that the government should review its measures and steps. Tufeili said he hopes the people will not reach the stage of carrying arms and weapons.

Defense minister Mohsen Dalloul suspended the arms licenses from Saturday until Monday in the Baalbeck-Hermel. He said the case should be treated through dialogue and logic. He admitted that a hard living situation exist in addition to lack of job opportunities but cutting roads is not a solution.

The Lebanese army third intervention unit was stationed today at the outlets of Zahle and the security forces patrols continue its measures on the top hills of Hermel.

Lebanese security forces which is placed under the army command's disposal and estimated by 2,000 man force from the ISF and the army backed by three Lebanese army helicopters launched yesterday the largest ever scale security dragnet since 1973 in the Hermel area. The force chased wanted people in the rural places and some army commando force landed from helicopters in mountainous hills. Without any reported casualties, the force succeeded to arrest a number of the wanted people and returned back tens of stolen cars also seized hidden quantities of drugs including hash and opium. The dragnet followed measures that were enforced by the security forces since months. A man named Nawras Allaw, one of the famous car robbers has been arrested after a brief clash with security men during which he was slightly wounded.

His relatives, in a retaliatory action, kidnapped four people from Forzol who were hunting in Hermel and demanded the release of the man. The authority gave the go ahead to the force to carry the dragnet to release the kidnapped and arrest the wanted people. The security forces, for the first time ever, reached areas in Hermel it had never reached before. The result four wanted people arrested and some 23 stolen cars returned. The four kidnapped people from Forzol were released.

Military sources said the dragnet will continue, but the main focus today is on the events tomorrow in Baalbeck-Hermel, where sheikh Subhi Tufeili called for cutting main roads in protest to the government ignorance of the region's  economic demands.

News Briefs

-Israeli warplanes staged two overnight air raids against Iqlim Toffah and Naameh south of Beirut where offices of the Palestinian PSLP g.c. No casualties were reported.

-Israeli warplanes staged mock raids against areas in west Bekaa and drew air defenses fire. The Israeli forces artillery shelled areas close to the frontline. Israeli radio claimed that three Islamic resistance men were killed by the Israeli army in the middle sector but the resistance sources denied any casualties on its side. Islamic Jihad in Palestine announced yesterday evening that one of its units launched an attack at 2.30 p.m. against an Israeli post at tallouseh in south Lebanon. The Islamic Jihad said the attack came in the second anniversary of the martyrdom of its founder Dr. Fathi Shukaki.

-Arnesto Che Guivara and his companion Orlando Boriguo visited yesterday the Chuf area and were hosted by the PSP party at Mukhtara. They received warm welcome at Baaqline. The two Cuban visitors were also hosted by south Lebanon cultural council and the Palestinian Mar Elias camp.

-The military tribunal in Beirut sentenced Etiene Saqre known as Abu Arz for 15 years jail in absentia together with the Lebanese businessman living in Cyprus Louis Mallat. Five other people were sentenced to 8 months jail. The charge was collaboration with the Israeli intelligence in exchange for economical and real estates services in and out of Palestine.

-The environmental organization Green Peace-M.E. branch ended its campaign to collect samples of industrial pollution sources along the Lebanese coast. The organization said the most severe pollution is at Selaata in Batroun.

Sports Round Up

-The football team Al Ahd is facing a hard job today during the game with Ansar which is in the leading position. Nejmeh and Safa are to play tomorrow. The two matches are part of the fifth week of Lebanon first group teams championship. Sunday Ikhaa Ahli-Aley will play with Racing, Homentmen will play against Bourj, Homenmen will play against Tadamoun-Tyre and Ahli Saida against Riyada wal Adab.

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