Three charged for involvement in Al-Qaa attacks: Lebanon

Published July 14th, 2016 - 01:00 GMT
Lebanese soldiers stand guard in front of a church where a suicide bomber blew himself up the previous day in the Christian village of al-Qaa. (AFP/File)
Lebanese soldiers stand guard in front of a church where a suicide bomber blew himself up the previous day in the Christian village of al-Qaa. (AFP/File)

Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr Thursday charged three people for their alleged involvement in the multiple suicide attacks which rocked the northeastern border town of Al-Qaa last month.

A judicial source told The Daily Star that the charged include a person who was arrested last week.

That individual belonged to a Daesh cell, which was attempting to carry out attacks in several Lebanese areas, the source added.

Investigations revealed that this suspect had links to the group responsible for carrying out the Al-Qaa bombings. Two of the suspects are Syrian, one is believed to be of Lebanese origin, the source added.

All three were charged with carrying out terrorist acts and attempting to kill and wound innocent civilians, destabilizing the country and inciting sectarian strife.

They have been referred to First Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghaida.

Lebanon is still reeling from the eight suicide attacks that targeted Al-Qaa near the border with Syria on June 27, killing five people and wounding more than 30 others.

It was the most recent example of the bloody spillover from the five-year war in Syrian into Lebanon.

The attack, suspected to have been carried out by Daesh, sent shockwaves across the country, forcing the Army and security services to implement tougher measures in Al-Qaa and on Lebanon's northeastern border with Syria, where Daesh and Nusra Front militants have taken up base.

Investigations are ongoing, but authorities in several towns across Lebanon have responded by tightening curfews for Syrians.

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said, after the attacks, that the attackers came from Syria rather than the surrounding refugee communities.

The Al-Qaa bombings were the first major suicide attacks in Lebanon since the Burj Barajneh suicide bombings in the southern suburbs of Beirut in November 2015 that left 47 people dead and over 200 others wounded. That attack was claimed by Daesh.

Separately, Military Investigative Judge Fadi Sawan issued three indictments over "terror crimes."

The first charge accused Mohammad and Mahmoud Al-Khalf of being members of Daesh.

The second accused Syrian national Abida Akasi of belonging to and financing the Ahrar Al-Sham militant group.

The third indictment accused arrested Syrian national Attallah Al-Tohmeh of belonging to Daesh and attacking the Lebanese Army in the country's northeastern town of Arsal. The four suspects have been referred to the Military Tribunal.

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