6 dead and 10 missing…and the army warns against “politicizing” the incident
The security of the city of Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, was shaken again, after announcing the sinking of a boat carrying 60 passengers, including entire families, who were trying to flee to Europe, as the city witnessed unrest, including shootings and demonstrations in front of the homes of officials.
The army succeeded in rescuing a large number of passengers, and found 6 bodies, including a girl, while about 10 people are still missing. The Director General of Tripoli Port, Ahmed Tamer, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “All the numbers that are published about the number of passengers are not final, and it is still difficult to determine the number of the missing.”
While the news of the “approach of death” overshadowed everything else in Lebanon, and Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced a general mourning today (Monday), the issue that preoccupied public opinion yesterday was the accusations leveled at the Lebanese army by survivors as to bearing responsibility for what happened, and saying Some said that the boat was sunk by an army force, which the army denied, calling for not politicizing the issue during the election season, but admitted that the boat collided with a military patrol during an attempt to arrest it.
As soon as the boat sank was announced, Tripoli was in a state of great anger, and the people gathered in front of the port, and some fainted. yesterday. Demands for the resignation of all officials rose from the protesters, some of whom attacked and tore up pictures of candidates for the elections. Roads were also blocked in anger.
The incident received denounced reactions from most officials and politicians, and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims, wishing the wounded a speedy recovery, calling on the relevant security and judicial authorities to “conduct their investigations quickly and with absolute transparency and to reveal the circumstances of this perpetual crime against the people of the north and its capital, Al-Fayhaa, Tripoli. And imposing the most severe penalties against the perpetrators, especially since it is not the first crime that the Lebanese are committing and for which the Lebanese pay dearly on board the death boats and at the hands of criminals from crisis dealers.
For his part, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri wrote on his Twitter account, saying: “When things reach the Lebanese citizen to resort to death boats to escape the hell of the state, this means that we are in a fallen state.”