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Lebanon News

Protesters block roads in northeast Lebanon over Army officers' re-arrest

  • Residents close the road in Sarba in support of the Lebanese army, Monday, July 16, 2012. (The Daily Star/Stringer )

  • Protesters brandished Lebanese Army flags blocking a vital highway for nearly two hours.

BEIRUT: Protesters briefly blocked roads in the Bekaa, in the country’s northeast, Tuesday to denounce the re-arrest of Lebanese Army officers in the investigation into the killing of two Akkar sheikhs.

Some fifty residents of the area blocked the road leading to Bidnayel and Maqne while roads to Batroun and Jounieh were reopened by the army overnight.

Authorities detained 16 Lebanese soldiers and officers during the investigation of the killing of two Akkar sheikhs at a military checkpoint in May. Eleven of those detained were released on bail at the beginning of the month.

The investigative judge decided to re-arrest the officers days ago after further investigations. The original release had been highly unpopular in Tripoli, where protests were held.

Protesters calling themselves “friends of the Army” blocked the highway connecting Beirut to Jounieh Monday to protest the re-arrest of the officers. They slammed what they described as the politicized investigation into the killing of the two sheikhs.

Meanwhile, Free Patriotic Movement MP Ibrahim Kanaan said Tuesday that his party’s protest at 6 p.m. in front of the military tribunal is a national movement and in support of the Army.

“It is a national movement far from politics,” Kanaan told Voice of Lebanon Radio Station.

He added that Monday’s road-blocking in Jounieh was a message that “the army is a red line.”

“We are not against justice but it cannot be achieved by forcing the judiciary and institutions to succumb [to certain demands],” Kanaan said.

 
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