Charbel Shrugs Off ‘Rumors’ on Tripoli Turmoil after Eid

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Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel denied on Tuesday that the northern city of Tripoli will witness renewed security incidents after the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

“These are just baseless rumors,” said Charbel after attending a security meeting headed by caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati at the Grand Serail.

“All Tripoli residents are longing for peace,” he said. “Security forces are ready to impose security and order.”

Charbel told reporters that the Central Security Council will hold a meeting on Wednesday to implement a strategy on law enforcement in Tripoli.

The northern city has seen several rounds of deadly fighting between rival neighborhoods as a result of the spillover of the Syrian war.

“We will prove to citizens that security will be restored in the city,” Charbel said.

Asked about claims he has made that the security situation was improving, the caretaker minister said that daily incidents such as robberies and murders were on the decline but “no one in the world can control bombings and rocket attacks.”

Media reports have said that a group preparing a homemade bomb in the Iqlim al-Kharroub town of Daraya was linked to al-Qaida and that Charbel has allegedly ruled out its ties to groups abroad.

But Charbel told reporters: “I haven’t said they are not linked to abroad but when I was asked if there were countries financing this cell, I answered that we didn’t yet have any information on that.”

Two members of the group were killed while another was seriously injured when the bomb accidentally went off on Sunday.

Charbel reiterated that the Internal Security Forces and the Army will continue to exert efforts to impose security.

“There was a proposal to expand the number of soldiers to 150,000 and 200,000 while that of security forces to 50,000 but with the current numbers our capabilities are limited,” he said.

Earlier, Charbel told Voice of Lebanon radio 93.3 that there were possibilities for more terrorist cells waiting orders to carry out attacks in Lebanon.

He denied that authorities had found weapons and ammunition at a villa under construction in Kesrouan.

 

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