First Published: 2013-01-18

 

Lebanon gunmen fire at pro-Syria minister's convoy

 

Armed men wound four of Youth and Sports Minister’s bodyguards while on their way to join Friday prayers in Tripoli.

 

Middle East Online

Lebanon remains divided into pro- and anti-Assad camps

TRIPOLI, Lebanon - Armed men opened fire on Friday in the north Lebanese city of Tripoli on the convoy of a pro-Damascus minister, wounding some of his bodyguards, a security official said.

Four of Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karameh's bodyguards were hit, said the official, who added that the gunmen were on their way to a sit-in organised by Lebanese Islamists bitterly opposed to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in neighbouring Syria.

A fifth man, a passer-by, was also wounded, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The shooting came "while the minister was on his way in his convoy to join Friday prayers in a mosque in the city," added the official.

An AFP correspondent said one of the minister's vehicles went up in flames after the attack.

"I don't think I was personally targeted," Karameh told a Lebanese television channel shortly afterwards, adding that his attackers "did not know I would be passing."

But he said the attack "threatens Tripoli's stability and security."

Dominated until 2005 militarily and politically for 30 years by Damascus, Lebanon remains divided into pro- and anti-Assad camps.

Frequent sectarian clashes in Tripoli have pitted Sunni Muslims against members of Assad's minority Alawite group, who fear vengeance attacks should the regime in Damascus fall.

Gunmen have also frequently exchanged fire with regime troops across Lebanon's northern and eastern borders with Syria.

Tripoli's Islamists protested on Friday calling for the release of dozens of detainees held without charge since violence wracked the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in 2007, when the army waged an all-out campaign to uproot Islamist militants.

"The attack on Minister Karameh's convoy... is an attempt to sow strife in the city," Prime Minister Najib Mikati said in a statement.

The army said in a statement it has "reinforced security measures, and started to seek out and arrest gunmen so they can be referred to the competent judicial authorities."

 

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

‘Retaliation is life’ group vows to attack Egypt security forces

Gunmen storm South Sudan UN base killing 20

Malaysia activists: Obama you are not welcome here!

Kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand jailed Libyans release

Landmine blasts Tunisia soldier amid growing jihadist threat

Marzouki sets an 'example' by cutting salary by two-thirds

Rouhani: Iran does not intend to be aggressive but can defend itself

Turkey to Russia: We demand a gas price revision

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa

Undercover New York police unit that spied on Muslims disbanded

Washington will not issue visa for Iran UN envoy

British paedophile gets 20-year sentence in Morocco

Syria army fights its way into besieged Homs

Invisible Bouteflika urges Algerians to vote

Saudi Arabia replaces powerful intelligence chief

Benflis mobilizes ‘army’ to monitor Algeria election

Syria army advances on rebel-held neighbourhoods in Homs

Egypt court bans any Brotherhood candidacies in upcoming elections

Turkey rights groups sound alarm at plan to build gay-only prisons

Kuwait coup plot video ‘neither genuine nor reliable’