Lebanese soldiers arrested Friday about 4o Christian activists during a memorial service for President-elect Bashir Gemayel, who died in a 1982 explosion, at the Phalange Party headquarters in Achrafieh, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
Waving pictures of Gemayel and jailed Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, about 1,000 supporters marched to the church chanting pro-Gemayel slogans.
Soldiers were heavily deployed throughout Achrafieh as Internal Security Forces blocked off nearby streets.
As the participants emerged from the church a scuffle between young men and soldiers broke out. Up to 40 young men were rounded up.
Security sources said “most” were freed later in the night after a warning against exploiting such events to stir up riots, but four remained in custody.
Tony Jalkh, a Lebanese Forces activist who was at the scene, said he saw soldiers roughing up the youngsters before detaining them into a truck, the paper quoted him as saying.
The service which was officiated by Bishop Roland Abu-Jaoude, Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir’s top assistant, was attended by a number of political figures.
More than 200 anti-Syrian Christians were arrested last month by the Lebanese forces – Albawaba.com
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