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Lebanon: Police seize explosive-laden sandwich in prison - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Lebanese police search a car at a checkpoint following their deployment for a state security plan in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli October 3, 2013. (REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim)

Lebanese police search a car at a checkpoint following their deployment for a state security plan in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli on October 3, 2013. (REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim)

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—Lebanese authorities announced the arrest of a prison guard for attempting to smuggle sandwiches loaded with explosives into Roumieh Prison, north-east of Beirut, on Thursday.

A Lebanese security source informed Asharq Al-Awsat that guards at Roumieh Prison had uncovered 150 grams of calcium carbine inside a prison guard’s packed lunch.

Following questioning, the prison guard confessed to attempting to smuggle the explosives into the prison to a prisoner named Charbel Chalita, who has been detained on homicide charges.

Chalita claimed to have asked the guard for the chemical compound for the purposes of “heating,” rather than any act of sabotage or escape attempt.

This is not the first time guards have seized explosives being smuggled into the B wing of Roumieh Prison, where Fatah Al-Islam elements are held.

Security authorities are in the process of investigating possible ties between Chalita and Islamist inmates.

Lebanon’s military prosecutor ordered the arrest of the guard in question and referred him, along with Chalita, to military court on charges of smuggling explosives and seeking to carry out a terrorist operation.

Lebanon’s prisons fall under the purview of the police force.

In separate news, Baabda Criminal Court received an anonymous bomb threat resulting in the building being immediately evacuated, with court sessions being cut short and detainees being returned to prison.

Lebanese security forces combed the building for explosives for three hours, but found nothing.

A judicial source, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, said the call was most likely made by someone hoping to delay one of the court hearings scheduled that day.

“The public prosecutor launched an investigation into the false bomb threat and called for the call to be tracked in order to identify and detain the caller,” the source added.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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