Friday, January 18, 2013

Former PM Karami dismisses attack on his son as "mistake"
Former Prime Minister Omar Karami has called the brutal attack Friday on the convoy of his son, Minister Faisal Karami, a "mistake," and said he won't hold anyone responsible for the incident.Lebanese Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami previously dubbed the assault on his motorcade "an assassination attempt" against him. Islamist protesters fired at and injured five members of the minister's entourage.Karami's motorcade was driving through the Azmi neighborhood, better known as Nour square, where a group of demonstrators shut roads demanding amnesty for a group of Islamists detained on charges of attacking soldiers."I can't imagine that this was anything other than an assassination attempt," Karami, who escaped unscathed, said in an interview with al-Jadeed TV this afternoon. His father's statement, made as the Minister sat on the same table, indicated that he rescinded the remark.The Minister is a native of Tripoli and is also the nephew of eight-time Prime Minister Rachid Karami, killed in 1987 in a helicopter blast."Divine intervention protected Tripoli from a dangerous incident that targeted the historical and patriotic [Karami] household which has offered the country the most valuable of sacrifices, most notably the martyred Prime Minister Rachid Karami," Prime Minister Najib Mikati wrote in a Tweet.Tripoli has been embroiled in militia fighting between supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime since 2011. The fighting is largely concentrated in the impoverished neighborhoods of Bab el-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen and contains extremist Islamist elements suspected of being affiliated with Al-Qaeda.Some media outlets suggested the protestors were 'provoked' by the motorcade's driving through the demonstration. It is unclear whether the gunfire that followed came from protestors or from assailants arriving from outside the demonstration.According to an Al-Akhbar correspondent, Karami's convoy took a route that attempted to sidestep the demonstrations, meeting protestors only as it neared the minister's office in the area.No arrests have so far been reported.Islamist groups, who promptly condemned the violence, are expected to release a statement at 5 pm Beirut time.
Future Movement delegation visits Faisal Karami after attack
A delegation from the Future Movement, headed by the party’s secretary general, Ahmad Hariri, visited the Tripoli residence of former Prime Minister Omar Karami’s son after it was attacked by a grenade Saturday midnight.According to the National News Agency (NNA), Hariri and the delegation held a meeting at Karami’s residence.“We came to check on Faisal Karami,” Hariri said.An unidentified individual dropped a hand grenade on the house of Omar Karami’s son, Faisal, in Tripoli at midnight Saturday, injuring two bodyguards.The Hariri and Karami families are Sunni political rivals.
FLASHBACK- Faisal Karami comments on seizure of "Lutfallah II”
Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami on Saturday commented on the Lebanese army’s seizure of a vessel suspected of carrying weapons destined for Syria's rebel army. The National News Agency quoted Karami as saying during a meeting with reporters at his office in North Lebanon’s Tripoli, that “many weapons are passing [through Lebanon] but no one knows their source or destination.”He added that the alleged arms smuggling to Syria seeks to stir “dissension in Lebanon.”Karami also said that the Lebanese army was the “safety valve [in Lebanon].”Regarding the issue of the upcoming 2013 parliamentary elections, Karami deemed the 1960 electoral law “the double-dealing law.”The 1960 electoral law is based on simple majority representation.He added: “We understand the concerns [of other political groups] regarding the proportional system of representation, but we are surprised how they, in return, do not respect our worries concerning the 1960 law.”“What is strange is [that some groups] reject holding the [2013 parliamentary] elections except in the presence of a neutral government [and they object the existence of arms in the hands of one chief party in the cabinet].”As for the “rumors” saying that Karami was behind some protests taking place in Tripoli, in coordination with Hezbollah, in an attempt “to overthrow the government,” the minister denied “these claims which are the product of wicked imaginations.”
FLASHBACK- Faisal Karami Snaps Back at Geagea: Killer Has no Right to Discuss Sunni Representation
Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami on Thursday slammed Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, saying he is the “killer” of his uncle former Prime Minister Rashid Karami.

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