At least four people have been injured after gunmen ambushed the convoy of Lebanese Minister of Youth and Sports Faisal Karami in the northern city of Tripoli,
The attack occurred on Friday in Tripoli’s Azmi street as the ministerial convoy passed through.
According to a statement issued by Karami’s office, the minister was not hurt in the attack and that the four who were injured were his bodyguards.
One of the convoy’s patrol cars burst into flames after gunmen threw a grenade at the convoy.
Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) said that the incident took place after Karami’s bodyguards exchanged fire with protesters who were participating in a sit-in to demand the release of Islamist detainees held at Roumieh prison, which is located northeast of Beirut.
Following the attack, Lebanese army was deployed near Karami’s house in al-Maarad area and began checking the identification papers of passers-by.
Shortly after the attack Karami told local TV channel OTV that he felt he was not the target of the attack, but rather that “the unrest aims at targeting the country’s security situation”. The minister, however, said that the incident represented an attack on his life.
Hundreds of members of Fatah al-Islam, a violent extrimist group that in 2007 fought deadly gun battles with the Lebanese Army in the northern Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared, are being held at Roumieh prison for years without trial.