Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun on Tuesday blamed the Dahieh bombing on “those who endorse the Takfiri ideology” and “those who make fiery speeches.”“The bombing incident must not only be a subject for condemnation. Everyone who endorses an explosive rhetoric must be condemned and the person who detonates a bomb in residential neighborhoods is a major criminal,” Aoun said after the weekly meeting of the Change and Reform bloc in Rabiyeh.“Those who endorse the Takfiri ideology, those who make fiery speeches, those who incite sectarianism and those who instigate against all the members of a certain sect are the biggest criminals, whether they are MPs, ministers or clergymen,” Aoun added.“We thank God that no one was killed ... but more vigilance must be exercised and those who are inciting must shut up. From now on, I will attack the criminals,” he went on to say.Earlier on Tuesday, a booby-trapped car exploded at a parking lot in the Beirut southern suburb of Bir al-Abed, wounding 53 people and causing extensive material damage.Turning to the issue of the Sidon clashes and the meeting held by the March 14 forces on Sunday in the southern city, Aoun said: “A military operation took place in Sidon and I challenge any army in the world to conduct a 'cleane' operation. The mosque inside the security zone was not hit by a single bullet, the residents were not hurt and the troops evacuated the civilians."“We heard a political rhetoric from a meeting in Tripoli and another in Sidon which incited against the army and launched a campaign of collective defamation against it. Some troops committed abuses and the Army Command is conducting an investigation. Military personnel can be detained but it is unacceptable to defame the army all over Lebanon,” Aoun said, referring to two videos showing army troops abusing detainees allegedly linked to Asir, which were circulated in the wake of the Abra clash.Human Rights Watch has also urged an independent investigation into claims that a man identified as Nader al-Bayoumy had died under torture while in the custody of the army.Referring to March 14's meeting in Sidon, Aoun said: “Someone came from Batroun, another came from Zgharta and another came from Akkar. They all went to Sidon to defame the army after one person 'received two slaps' in Sidon.”
“What happened is totally unacceptable. Has al-Asir turned into the defender of Lebanon's demands? Why did they endorse his demands? Why are you turning him into a saint? He killed officers in an ambush and you are exploiting the issue politically. Why are you making this uproar although you know that the army's intervention spared us a civil war?” Aoun added.“Why did you turn those who died while fighting alongside al-Asir into martyrs at the same level of the army's martyrs? When did these people stand by the army? In Akkar or in Arsal? They attacked the army four times in Arsal. Enough with this obscenity,” he went on to say.Aoun pointed out that soldiers “also get infuriated sometimes,” adding that they can be penalized.
However, he added: “I object against the Army Command's decision to refer five troops to the Military Court as a 'single slap' from them is more honorable than al-Asir's killing of army troops and his abuse of civilians.”In a recent video circulated on social networking websites, al-Asir beats up with the butt of his machinegun a resident who hails from Sidon. The Islamist cleric has also been accused of several other abuses against civilians.“It is regrettable to ask the army to do everything ... We will rise up and we will take to the streets and everyone attacking the army must shut up,” Aoun warned.“Everyone used to visit and encourage al-Asir when he was cursing us,” he added