Beirut ally of Syria's Assad in detained in Lebanon

By REUTERS
August 9, 2012 13:40

 
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BEIRUT - A former Lebanese government minister with close ties to Syrian President Bashar Assad was detained in Lebanon on Thursday for questioning over what the Lebanese prime minister described as security-related matters.

A security source said Michel Samaha, detained in the early hours, was being questioned about alleged plans to cause instability in Lebanon.

Elias Aoun, head of the Lebanese journalists' union, said Prime Minister Najib Mikati had told him Samaha had been held following an order from the acting public prosecutor.

Samaha has been an outspoken supporter of Assad during the 17-month-old uprising against his rule, echoing an official Syrian narrative that portrays the opposition as terrorists.

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