President Michel Suleiman on Sunday said that “no one should harbor armed men,” stressing that the killers of Major Pierre Bashaalani and First Sergeant Ibrahim Zahraman “will be punished.” “The state and the army must come first and we hope that justice will be served and the criminals will be arrested,” Suleiman said from the Bekaa town of Mrayjat, where he offered condolences to Bashaalani’s family.


The president also called for “embracing the army, rejecting extremists and terrorists and refraining from harboring armed men.” Bashaalani and Zahraman were killed in clashes in the Bekaa town of Arsal on Friday as the army was seeking to apprehend a wanted suspect, who was also killed in the unrest.