Mikati: “No Proof of Al-Qaeda along Lebanese-Syrian Border”

Agence France Presse (AFP)30.12.2011 Lebanon
Mikati: “No Proof of Al-Qaeda along Lebanese-Syrian Border”

Mikati: “No Proof of Al-Qaeda along Lebanese-Syrian Border”

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There is “no conclusive proof” that al-Qaeda is operating along the Lebanese-Syrian border, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said, as controversy brews over remarks by Lebanon's pro-Syrian Defense Minister.
“There is no conclusive evidence of the presence of al-Qaeda in Aarsal,” a mainly Sunni Muslim district in eastern Lebanon that borders the Syrian protest hub of Homs, Mikati’s office said in a statement.

It said the Lebanese Army had deployed in Aarsal on November 21 after it had received information indicating an individual in the village might have ties to “an international terrorist organization.”

But the Lebanese Military had found no concrete evidence of the presence of Al-Qaeda or any other organized group in Aarsal, the statement said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.

Earlier this month, Lebanese Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn said Al-Qaeda militants were smuggling weapons into Syria through Aarsal, sparking an outcry among the Western-backed opposition which supports Syrian pro-democracy protesters.

The village of Aarsal, considered a stronghold of Lebanese opposition leader Saad Hariri, has in recent months witnessed a string of incursions by the Syrian Army in a bid to crack down on arms smuggling.


Source: AFP



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