On 1 February 2013, a few minutes before Friday prayers, none of the residents of the Lebanese town of Ersal thought that their day of rest and devotion would turn into a funeral.
Each side had its own story but the outcome was the same: three killed and ten injured.
Residents say that a BMW and a Toyota van drove into town to arrest Khaled Ahmad Hmayed. According to the residents, he was on his way to prayers when he was shot by gunmen from both cars. The gunmen then took Hmayed’s body and headed towards the Ersal hillside.
This led to suspicions among some residents that the gunmen were Syrian mukhabarat, or intelligence services, who kidnapped Hmayed due to his involvement in the Syrian revolution.
Some claimed that the army had been contacted, but it denied sending a patrol to Ersal. This validated suspicions that a third party was trying to sabotage the security situation in Ersal leading to an unintended clash.
The Lebanese army contests this story, and believes its patrol was attacked during the arrest of Hmayed, according to informed security sources.
Speaking to Al-Akhbar, sources indicated that Hmayed, suspected of being involved in the kidnapping of seven Estonians around two years ago, was being tracked by security forces.
Hmayed is suspected of having ties to Hussein Houjeiri, who is linked to al-Qaeda operatives in Iraq and thought to be the mastermind behind the Estonian hostage operation.
According to the sources, an army intelligence patrol drove to Ersal to arrest the suspect and he was shot while attempting to escape. The patrol left, but lost its way, so it asked for assistance from an armored patrol, which was ready to intervene in emergency situations.
This led to suspicions among some residents that the gunmen were Syrian mukhabarat, or intelligence services.The sources explained that the patrol’s entry and exit routes would follow side routes for security reasons. But it was attacked and chased by dozens of armed men who clashed with the armored patrol. The exchange lasted 20 minutes and resulted in the death of a captain and a lieutenant, injuring more than eight soldiers.
The residents of Ersal were not satisfied by this semi-official tale of the events and some of them still insist on a third side. Speaking to Al-Akhbar, municipality members said that, upon hearing the news of the clashes, some residents ran to the scene and carried the bodies of the army martyrs and the wounded to the municipal building to provide first aid.
The head of the municipality also had announced last May, in a speech carried by most Lebanese media, that the residents of Ersal will use arms to prevent any attempt to arrest any of them…JA
– The above information were posted by real Syrian activists from Syria & around the world, not by western intelligent post offices duped activists.