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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Revolutions / Extremism arrow Shaker al-Abssi's Wife Confirms Ties between Fatah Al-Islam and Syria
Shaker al-Abssi's Wife Confirms Ties between Fatah Al-Islam and Syria PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dailystar   
Monday, 22 October 2007

Shaker Al-Abssi
Shaker Al-Abssi

Abssi's wife denies link between militants, Siniora government 

By Mohammed Zaatari
Daily Star staff
Monday, October 22, 2007

SIDON: The wife of fugitive Fatah al-Islam leader Shaker al-Abssi denied over the weekend that the Lebanese government had "any sort" of ties with the Al-Qaeda-inspired militant group her husband headed. "The Lebanese government did not facilitate the entry of Fatah al-Islam militants into the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, and MP Saad Hariri has never provided funding to our group," Rishdiyeh al-Abssi told a group of journalists at Sidon's Al-Arqam Mosque, where she resides with the families of other Fatah al-Islam militants.

MP Bahia Hariri has admitted that her family had given money to Palestinian groups in the poverty-stricken Taamir neighborhood at the restive Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Sidon. 

The Hariri family, however, has repeatedly dismissed having any connection or funding any extremist groups.

The conflict between the Lebanese Army and Fatah al-Islam at the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp ended on September 2, after 106 days of intensive fighting. The death toll of soldiers, militants and civilians topped 400.

Asked whether she had any information concerning her husband, Abssi said she had not heard from him.

"Since I left the Nahr al-Bared camp I never heard from him, but I am in touch with our family in Jordan," she said.

Abssi and her daughter identified the body of a Fatah al-Islam militant as her husband, but DNA tests determined that the body belonged to a man at least 10 years younger than her husband, and she later said it was possible that she had been mistaken in identifying the body.

In late August, 25 wives of Fatah al-Islam fighters with 38 of their children were evacuated from the besieged camp, with some seeking refuge in Sidon and others going to the homes of relatives elsewhere in the country.

About one week after the evacuation, the remaining militants launched an abortive mass-breakout bid, which the Lebanese Army crushed and ended the three-month conflict. Shaker al-Abssi reportedly fled hours before the failed escape attempt.

His wife said the experience at the Nahr al-Bared camp during the fighting was an "extremely tough one."

"We ran out of potable water to quench our thirst, so we had to resort to wells inside the camp ... but the water in there was salty most of the time," she said.

She told reporters that her stay in the Al-Arqam Mosque was not "less stressful" than her experience in the camp during the 15-plus weeks of fighting.

"We live in very difficult conditions and go through very tough moments," she said. "We are 34 living in the same room."

Eleven Fatah al-Islam families left the Southern coastal city of Sidon last week on their way to Syria, following weeks of negotiations over their departure.

The families were among the 17 families who, after the evacuation, were spirited to the Al-Arqam Mosque in the middle of the night.

Six families remain at the mosque, because they do not have proper travel documents.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=86131



 
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