Lebanon army on high alert to counter terrorism threats

Source: XinhuaEditor: Yao Jianing
2016-07-27 16:53

BEIRUT, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The Lebanese army has upped its security measures to counter any acts of sabotage that could be carried out by terror groups, al-Joumhouria daily quoted a senior military source on Wednesday.

Army Commander Gen. Jean Qahwaji will issue his Order of the Day marking Army Day on the first of August pinpointing the elements of danger that could be threatening Lebanon, the daily said, stressing that he will also issue guidance to the military force to maintain high alert to counter any potential menace.

In the same context, al-Mustaqbal daily reported that a senior army delegation visited the southern city of Sidon on Tuesday and surveyed the military units in the city and its suburbs.

The delegation, which was surrounded by tight security procedures, inspected of the army units and checkpoints at the entrance of the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh and its surrounding.

Intelligence reports, received by the army, cautioned that terrorist groups are seeking to "create major chaos, destruction and terror in the various Lebanese regions, especially in Beirut and its southern suburbs, through targeting gatherings and densely-populated areas."

By long-standing convention, the army does not enter the twelve Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, leaving the Palestinian factions to handle security themselves.

That has created lawless areas in many camps, and Ain el-Hilweh has gained notoriety as a refuge for extremists and fugitives.

But the camp is also home to more than 54,000 registered Palestinian refugees who have been joined in recent years by thousands of Palestinians fleeing the fighting in Syria.

More than 450,000 Palestinians are registered in Lebanon with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA. Most live in squalid conditions in 12 official refugee camps and face a variety of legal restrictions, including on their employment.

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