Judge Seeks Death Penalty for 32 Tripoli Fighting Suspects

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Military Examining Magistrate Judge Fadi Sawan issued on Monday two separate indictments calling for the death penalty against 32 suspects involved in the gunbattles in the northern city of Tripoli.

In the first batch 18 people, including Hussein Ahmed, who is in custody, were accused of forming an armed group with the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities, igniting sectarian strife and killing security forces.

The suspects also face charges for attempted murder of Lebanese Armed Forces’ members.

The second group, includes 14 people – two of whom are in custody.

Only one of them was identified as Jalal al-Hajji.

The judge issued arrest warrants against them and referred them to the permanent military court for trial.

The LAF have arrested dozens of people on suspicion of taking part in several rounds of fighting in Tripoli, which pitted residents of the impoverished neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh.

The clashes are linked to the war in neighboring Syria. Jabal Mohsen residents are Alawites, the sect of President Bashar Assad, who is facing a Sunni uprising.

Bab al-Tabbaneh’s residents are Sunnis and back the rebellion against Assad.

The fighting subsided when the armed forces implemented a security plan in Tripoli and the eastern Bekaa valley, which has also suffered from the spillover of the Syrian war.

On Monday, state security arrested Syrian Amjad al-Shehade in central Bekaa for belonging to al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front and recruitment gunmen to fight in Syria.

Al-Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for several attacks on areas whose residents are Shiites and back Hizbullah, which is fighting alongside Assad’s troops in Syria.

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