Militia leaders in Lebanon’s Tripoli surrender to army
Eight soldiers were wounded on Tuesday after they were attacked by alleged pro-Salafist militants (File/AFP)
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Three militia commanders wanted for Tuesday’s assault that left eight Lebanese soldiers wounded in the northern city of Tripoli have turned themselves in, the military said Wednesday.
Talal Issa, Mahmoud al-Hallak and Khaled al-Rai – all wanted for involvement in the attack on an Army patrol in the Tripoli neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh – surrendered to Lebanese Army Intelligence.
The statement said that the three men have several warrants out for their arrest.
The militia commanders are also accused of leading armed clashes in Tripoli before the security plan for the restive northern city went into effect in April.
Security sources told The Daily Star earlier that the three commanders, who are pro-Salafist, hail from the predominately Sunni neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh.
They are wanted by authorities in connection with gunbattles between Bab al-Tabbaneh and the mostly Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen.
The Army, as well as the Internal Security Forces, has arrested a number of militia commanders and gunmen after the military prosecutor issued over 200 warrants as part of the security crackdown.
There have been feuds between the two districts since the 1975-1990 Lebanese Civil War, but traditional rivalry between Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh has been aggravated by the three-year-old crisis in neighboring Syria.