Lebanese army revokes government decisions against Hezbollah

In a bid to end the current violence, the Lebanese army has announced it would overturn the government's decisions against Shia militant group Hezbollah and called on gunmen to leave the streets.


The Lebanese army said on Saturday it had frozen measures taken by the government against the Shiite Hezbollah movement, and called for all armed militants to withdraw from the streets.

"The army command calls on all parties to (help restore calm) by ending armed protests and withdrawing gunmen from the streets and opening the roads," the military said in a statement.

It said that the head of airport security, who had been reassigned from his job, would remain in his post pending an investigation and that the army would look into a communications network set up by the militant group.

"The head of airport security, Brigadier General Wafiq Shqeir, will remain in his post until appropriate procedural measures have been taken after a probe," the statement said.

"As for the telecommunications network, the army will look into the issue in a manner that is not harmful to the public interest or the security of the resistance" against Israel, it said.

The military said it had taken these decisions in the light of a government wish that it rule on these matters. The army statement came shortly after Prime Minister Fuad Siniora made a televised address to the nation.

Tuesday's government decision to reassign Shqeir and launch a judicial probe into the communications network sparked bloody clashes that saw Hezbollah seize control of west Beirut.

The army's announcement was seen as a way out of the violence that has rocked the country, leaving at least nearly 40 people dead and virtually closing Lebanon off from the outside world.

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