PNO: Future backing militants in Taamir
By Mohammed Zaatari
Daily Star staff
SIDON: The Popular Nasserite Organization (PNO) president MP Osama Saad accused the Future Movement on Friday of providing political and security coverage to the armed groups in the Taamir neighborhood on the outskirts of the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.
Saad said that these armed groups were formed to back U.S. goals to undermine security in the area, and added that he will boycott meetings to discuss the Taamir file.
Marking the 31st anniversary of the assassination of his father Maarouf Saad, the MP held held a news conference in which he accused MP Bahia Hariri and the Future Movement of protecting the armed groups in Taamir with the knowledge and help of the Lebanese security forces.
Saad cautioned against these actions, saying that if they continue, "danger would spread across Sidon."
"I hold the Lebanese government responsible for any drop of blood shed in this city," the MP added.
Saad said that the U.S. cannot impose its will on the Lebanese so it is attempting by other means to undermine security in the area.
Asked how he could launch accusations against a political group with which he is already holding joint meetings, Saad announced that he will boycott the meetings.
Saad said if the Lebanese authorities will handle the settlement of the issue "then there is no need to meet and release statements."
He said: "PNO members never showed up armed in the Taamir area. On the contrary, they strived to calm the situation and even faced the danger of attacks."
Some 99 percent of residents of the Taamir neighborhood are poor Lebanese. The neighborhood has suffered during the past seven months from security clashes.
On Friday, two days after the Lebanese Army arrested Mohammad Shamandour, the suspect's family blocked the road to Taamir, shouting threats against the Lebanese Army and burning tires.
Shamandour was released on Wednesday by the Military Tribunal in Beirut for lack of sufficient evidence against him.
The Shamandour family thanked the military and judicial authorities, saying they adhere to the rule of the law.