President Michel Aoun on Monday stressed the need for “preemptive operations to arrest plotters and instigators of acts of vandalization to curb them and prevent their recurrence,” following days of violent protests in Beirut and Tripoli.
“The acts of sabotage that occurred recently, some of which took a sectarian turn, in addition to the systematic attacks on security and military forces, are no longer acceptable and can lead to dangerous ramifications,” Aoun warned during a Higher Defense Council meeting in Baabda.
Speaking at the same meeting, Prime Minister Hassan Diab lamented that “thugs are violating the streets and destroying the country and its institutions while the state is standing idly by.”
“These are not protests against hunger and the economic situation. This is an organized sabotage campaign and there should be a decisive and firm decision to confront this growing phenomenon. Those instigating, funding and running it must be detained,” Diab urged.
He added: “What’s happening in the country is abnormal. It is clear that there is a domestic or foreign decision, perhaps both, to tamper with civil peace and threaten security stability. What’s happening carries multiple and alarming messages and it is no longer acceptable to keep the perpetrators unknown.”
A statement issued after the meeting said the conferees agreed that “coordination and cooperation must be intensified among the security agencies.”
“They should exchange information to avoid any acts of sabotage under the guise of legitimate social demands and they must not be lenient with those violating security and order,” the statement added.