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Lebanon Interior Minister: ‘Hezbollah’ Military Parade Challenges the State | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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“Hezbollah” militants parade during a ceremony to honor fallen comrades, in Tefahta village, southern Lebanon in February 2017. (AP)

Beirut – Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq condemned “Hezbollah’s” recent military parade in Beirut’s southern suburbs, saying that it undermines the state.

He said in a tweet: “We will reply to this parade only through the mentality of the state and nothing else.”

“State measures will be taken to prevent all thought of autonomous security, which is rejected by all the Lebanese people,” declared the minister.

“Hezbollah” had on Friday night staged a military parade in the southern Beirut suburb of Bourj al-Barajneh in a show of force against drug gangs and dealers, who have taken up residence in its strongholds.

Images shared on social media showed dozens of masked members and gunmen of the party marching in the streets of Bourj al-Barajneh, a party stronghold, where they also carried out raids.

The party said the members were part of a new “Abbas Squadron” that targets security violators in the area, most notably drug dealers.

“Hezbollah’s” parade drew wide popular and official condemnation in Lebanon at a time the state had launched an undeclared security plan aimed at arresting wanted suspects in Beirut and the Bekaa region.

“Hezbollah” MP Ali Ammar had said of the criticism: “The parade was a spontaneous action that was not coordinated by its leadership.”