Tripoli calm after Friday prayers
Published Friday, May 18, 2012
The northern Lebanese city of Tripoli was quiet on Friday after a judge rejected an appeal of a key Islamist, whose arrest set off a week of street battles.
A large number of people gathered on Friday in al-Nour Square in the northern town of Tripoli to participate in public prayers, the National News Agency reported.
Sheikh Salem al-Rafei led the prayers, saying that the road leading to the al-Nour Square will be reopened as soon as the prayers end.
He called on all parties in Tripoli including Jabal Mohsen inhabitants to "reach an agreement and sign a treaty which prohibits killing, rejects violence and allows the people of Tripoli to live together in peace.”
Al-Akhbar's correspondent in Tripoli said that al-Rafei told the crowds that he will not let the reputation of Tripoli be marred with the latest incidents.
The correspondent also said that "the Friday prayers ended peacefully, with no reported clashes or security incidents and the roads were reopened as planned.”
Preachers and families of detained Islamists had called on supporters to gather in al-Nour Square today at prayer time to protest against the decision of Military Investigating Judge Nabil Wehbe, rejecting earlier today the appeal of Shadi Mawlawi.
Mawlawi's arrest last Saturday set off a series of clashes between armed groups and the Lebanese military, as well as sparking a sit-in protest in the city's central square.
Mawlawi, 25, has been charged with belonging to an “armed terrorist group” and intending to carry out acts of terror inside Lebanon and abroad, but denies the charges.
A new questioning session with Mawlawi has been scheduled for Tuesday.
The violence in the past week is the worst effect of the spill-over of violence from neighboring Syria, where an uprising against the ruling regime has been taking place since last year.
The Saudi-backed March 14 coalition accused Syria on Wednesday of trying to drag Lebanon into its crisis.
"It is actually an attempt to make of Tripoli a zone of terrorism. It also aims at striking Lebanon's northern area which has welcomed and helped out the Syrian displaced," said March 14 figure Mustafa Alloush after the coalition held its regular weekly meeting.