The Lebanese Armed Forces Command urged the citizens to refrain from retaliating for the murder of four men near Ras Baalbek on Sunday, after armed men were spotted in several areas in the Beqaa.
“When the bodies of the four men were found, tension reigned over some towns in Baalbek and Hermel as armed men deployed in a number of towns in these areas,” the Army Command said in a statement released on Sunday.
“We urge all the citizens and families in the Beqaa to… exercise self-restraint and have patience in this critical situation the country is going through,” it added.
The statement also noted that the LAF deployed units in different towns, patrolled the area, set up checkpoints throughout the region and will carry on its efforts to “remove all armed presence and restore the situation to normal.”
“We will not allow anyone to use this painful incident in order to strike national unity… We will exert all possible efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and transfer them to the competent authority.”
The National News Agency reported Sunday that four bodies were found in Wadi Raqef near Beqaa’a Ras Baalbek, after which relatives of the victims took to the streets blocking several roads.
Arsal residents issued a statement shortly afterwards denying any responsibility for the murders, and claiming instead that the incident was aimed at creating tension between residents of this town and those of neighboring areas.