Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—Hezbollah security remains deployed on the street’s of Beirut’s Dahieh district, a southern suburb of the capital, one week after the twin suicide attack on the Iranian embassy in the city that killed at least 23 people, local residents told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The Lebanese militia has also increased the number of “controllers” on the streets tasked with monitoring passers-by and traffic for suspicious activity. Security checkpoints at all entrances and exits of the Hezbollah stronghold are also tasked with checking identity cards and searching vehicles.
Hezbollah sent controllers back onto the streets of Dahieh last week as part of a number of precautionary security measures following the twin suicide bombing in the neighboring Bir Hassan district. The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades later claimed responsibility for the attack, which analysts see as part of the escalating sectarian crisis in the country.
The attack on the Iranian embassy came just two months after Hezbollah returned responsibility for security in the district over to official state security and police forces.
Hezbollah’s security measures returned in the aftermath of the attack, local residents informed Asharq Al-Awsat. One week later, its increased security measures remain in place, including the complete closure of roads around Hezbollah’s headquarters and official buildings.
“Anyone seeking to pass through Haret Hraik—a Hezbollah stronghold since the 1980s—will find their journey interrupted by road closures and security patrols,” a local resident said.
“A number of vital connecting streets have been completely cordoned off by cement blocks,” he added.
Hezbollah has also beefed up security around its media outlets, including Al-Manar TV and Al-Nour Radio in Dahieh and the surrounding area, as well as TV studios located in the Bir Hassan area.
Hezbollah security personnel have also intermittently shut down a number of other residential roads, Dahieh locals informed Asharq Al-Awsat. This includes a major road leading to the Islamic Scholars’ Association, in addition to increased security around a church located in Haret Hraik.
Security measures are tightened during prayer times, as well as during religious festivals or other large gatherings, local residents added.