BEIRUT: Rampant lawlessness in Beirut’s southern suburbs calls for state intervention, State Minister Nabil de Freij said Saturday.

“Beirut’s southern suburbs are waiting for the state to intervene, especially with regards to [widespread] theft and drug dealing,” De Freij said in televised remarks.

State authorities are widely believed to have a weak presence in the suburbs. Hezbollah, which holds sway in the area, takes its own security measures to protect its residents.