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Hezbollah indictments loom
Lebanese tensions run high as U.N. prepares to pursue justice in Hariri assassination
“Many people fear that the STL is part of these tools that are being used to target Hezbollah politically, rather than really [bringing] up truth,” said Alain Aoun, a member of parliament and the March 8 alliance, a political coalition that includes Hezbollah. “I think this will trigger a reaction in Lebanon.”
This leaves Prime Minister Saad Hariri in a tight spot. Like the U.S., he supports the tribunal and says it will bring justice for his father. But peaceful ties between Mr. Hariri’s March 14 coalition and Hezbollah are essential to stability in Lebanon. In recent weeks, Mr. Hariri has called for dialogue and insisted that the indictments will not lead to violence.
Many Lebanese people fear that if Hezbollah members are indicted, the country could erupt in riots or sectarian battles. Fares Souaid, secretary general of the March 14 alliance, said Hezbollah’s backers - Iran and Syria - are under a huge amount of international pressure to prevent regional violence. But, he said, this will not necessarily prevent fighting in Lebanon’s streets.
Hezbollah “is going to make a kind of coup d’etat,” he said, “a kind of local instability.”
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