|“Hezbollah’s security measures vital for protecting the people”||
Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah says it has to carry on its own security measures in Beirut’s southern suburbs because Lebanese security agencies are unable to protect the densely-populated area, Hezbollah’s deputy head Sheikh Naim Qassem said on Monday.
Qassem made the remarks in reference to group’s decision to take more security measures in the volatile southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital.
Responding to critics by Lebanese March 14 party, Qassem said, “What is the alternative solution? They [March 14] say the government is the solution. But the government is saying it is unable [to protect the suburbs]. In this case, shall we keep the streets open to booby-trapped cars to come and go, causing victims?”
“We have never acted to replace the government, neither in security, political and social issues, nor in any other issue. Two bombings happened in the southern suburbs that resulted in victims, wounded and destruction. The Lebanese security forces told us that preparations were underway for an additional bombing attempt in the [southern] suburbs and in some areas.
“The bombings did not target specific figures or sites of Hezbollah, but the people anywhere. Therefore, the state is responsible for protecting the people since they are paying taxes,” he was quoted by Al Alam as saying.
Following the two bombings, Qassem said Hezbollah officials had met with chiefs of security agencies to discuss measures to protect the southern suburbs from a new wave of bombings.
“We clearly asked them [security chiefs] to do their job, but they said they are unable to do so. They said, ‘We cannot provide the number [of security personnel] or protect the [southern] suburbs and some other areas,’” Qassem said.
Hezbollah has beefed up its security measures in the southern suburbs, the south and the Bekaa Valley after a car bomb attack in the Ruwaiss neighborhood killed 30 people and wounded over 300 on Aug. 15.
The blast came more than a month after a similar car bombing wounded more than 50 in the neighborhood of Bir al-Abed in the southern suburbs.
Many of the residents at the Hezbollah protected areas blame Israel for recent attacks.
Following the deadly attack on neighborhood of Ruwaiss in Beirut in mid-August, Lebanese President Michel Sleiman said the bombing bore the fingerprints of the Israel.
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