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."

 

Libya forces launch ‘final battle for Sirte’

Dozens killed as Turkey ramps up unprecedented offensive in Syria

Yemen government cautiously welcomes US peace plan

Iraq officially asks Saudi Arabia to change ambassador

In Saudi city of Najran, Huthis commit war crimes with indiscriminate rockets

Iran arrests 'nuclear spy'

Egypt frees renowned rights lawyer, Malek Adly

Yemen shelling kills three-year-old boy in Saudi border region

Turkey sends more tanks into Syria to bolster military offensive

Turkey arrests former top diplomats over failed coup

Tunisia swears in new premier after approval from parliament

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian in occupied West Bank

11 Turkish police officers killed in Cizre bomb attack claimed by PKK

French court suspends burkini ban

Tears as evacuation starts in Syria's Daraya

Turkey PM denies Syria operation singling out Kurds

Kerry, Lavrov meet for talks on Syria

Tunisia parliament to vote on cabinet proposal

Kuwait arrests govt employee promoting IS online

Turkey shells Kurdish fighters in Syria after warning

Oil prices fall on Saudi doubt on output cut

Jeddah meeting bears no fruit on Yemen conflict

Kerry in Saudi for talks on regional conflicts

UN Syria envoy expects 'impact' from Kerry-Lavrov meeting

Iraq parliament votes to impeach defense minister

Russia says will cooperate in Syria chemical attacks probe

Iraq forces take key town south of Mosul

Hamas to leave name off ballot in Palestinian elections

Iranian navy in 'unsafe' intercept of US destroyer

Three wounded in PKK attack on Turkey opposition chief's convoy

Erdogan to inaugurate Istanbul's third Bosphorus bridge

China to train Syrian troops

Turkey reinforces ground forces across border into Syria

Turkey says 'every right' to intervene if Kurds fail to withdraw

UN rights chief urges international probe of Yemen violations

Tunisia unity government to remain unchanged

Raped teen who took own life finally gets justice in Morocco

Syria rebels backed by Turkey tanks 'seize' Jarabulus

Libya's presidential council to present new cabinet

Syria regime, Kurds blast Turkish incursion

Biden: Washington told Kurds not to cross Euphrates

Israeli court shuns plea to unchain Palestinian hunger striker

Saudi police foil mosque suicide bombing

Kerry to meet Russia's Lavrov in Geneva on Friday

Kurdish forces in Syria prime target for Turkey