Security forces in Lebanon arrested yesterday seven out of the eight attackers identified for violent actions committed against Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper Beirut offices. The eighth aggressor, inciter of the entire attack, remains free and on the run.
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif Bin Rashid Al-Zayani on Saturday denounced the barbaric attack against the Beirut office of Asharq Al-Awsat Arabic daily. He described it as a cowardly act that contradicts the guaranteed under international law freedom of press, Saudi Press Agency reported.
GCC Secretary General Al Zayani said that this audacious attack does not stand to represent the opinion of the fellow people of Lebanon.
Secretary General Al Zayani also mentioned that the people of Lebanon are fully aware of the effective and distinguished role the newspaper plays in supporting Lebanon via media and backing the Lebanese government for their spent efforts on upholding security and stability and accomplishing the aspirations of the people of Lebanon regarding freedom, dignity and development.
Dr. Al Zayani expressed his confidence in the capability of the Lebanese security authorities in uncovering the circumstances of this criminal attack; to arrest its perpetrators and bring them to justice.
Prosecution began running investigations on the incident and sent out arrest warrants for the perpetrators. Security forces will bring in the rioters into court.
After arresting the first assailant Pierre al-Hashash, security forces raided the houses of the other attackers, which led to them surrendering and handing themselves in to Internal Security Forces in Achrafieh, Beirut. Only one of the identified assailants, Abbass Zahri, gang leader and attack inciter, remains free with security forces chasing him.
The incident took the attention of a large number of Arab and international newspapers. France condemned the assault, considering it to target freedom of press which is the foundation of world democracies. Parisian authorities requested that the Lebanese administration reveals the identities of the assailants.