Lebanon arrests 5 Syrians on charges of arms possession: military


Lebanese soldiers patrol the Corniche al-Mazraa neighbourhood of the capital Beirut, on October 22, 2012. The army said it was determined to restore order in Lebanon, roiled by growing political tensions linked to Syria after a top policeman was murdered and former premier Rafiq Hariri called for the government to step down.



Lebanon today arrested five Syrians accused of hiding explosives in their apartment, said the Associated Press, citing the army. 

Local media claimed the men were plotting to attack Shiite groups on Sunday as they observed Ashoura, a ritual mourning the death of Imam Hussein bin Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

The military declined comment on the rumors when asked by AP

The arrests were made in Lebanon's southern town of Nabatiyeh, army sources told Reuters, following a raid in which authorities discovered 450 grams of explosives. AP cited an army statement saying they also found a detonator and ammunition for a 160-mm mortar inscribed with Hebrew.

The development adds to fears that Lebanon risks being destabilized by ongoing violence in neighboring Syria, where rebel forces are locked in a fierce battle with forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad in violence that has taken tens of thousands of lives.