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Lebanon intercepts arms headed to Syria rebels

Posted by seumasach on April 29, 2012

Middle East Online

28th April, 2012

SELAATA (Lebanon) – The Lebanese navy intercepted three containers of weapons destined for Syrian rebel forces on board a ship originating from Libya, a security official said on Saturday.

The cargo contained heavy machineguns, artillery shells, rockets, rocket launchers and other explosives, the official said.

A second security official said the Sierra Leone-flagged Lutfallah II had previously obtained a permit to enter the port of Tripoli in northern Lebanon before being stopped by the navy on Thursday night.

The vessel was towed to Selaata, a small port some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Beirut.

News reports said the ship had called at the Egyptian port of Alexandria en route from Libya.

A reporter saw three army trucks leave Selaata for Beirut with the seized containers, escorted by eight jeeps and a helicopter.

A resident said that the ship weighed anchor in the morning, escorted by the navy to an unknown destination.

The security source said that the captain and crew were handed over to military intelligence officers in Tripoli for further questioning.

Syrian authorities have repeatedly charged that weapons are being smuggled from Lebanon to rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

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