Lebanon hunt for missing Fatah al-Islam inmate

BEIRUT — Lebanese police said Tuesday they are hunting a militant of the radical Sunni group Fatah al-Islam who has gone missing from the country’s notorious Rumieh jail.

By (AFP)

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Published: Tue 16 Nov 2010, 6:25 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:14 AM

“Two members of Fatah al-Islam attempted a prison break in Rumieh this morning,” a police spokesman told AFP.

Police managed to capture Syrian inmate Munjid al-Fahham within the prison grounds after he injured himself trying to escape, the spokesman said.

But they were still hunting for a second militant, Walid al-Bustani, who apparently managed to escape the prison, located about 12 kilometres (eight miles) northeast of Beirut.

The Lebanese army battled an uprising of Fatah al-Islam, a militant Al-Qaeda-inspired group, in a northern Lebanon Palestinian refugee camp in the summer of 2007. The fighting killed some 400 people, including 168 soldiers.

Some of the Islamist leaders escaped at the time despite a 15-week siege by the army of the camp. Authorities launched a crackdown on fundamentalist groups in the aftermath of the battles.

Fatah al-Islam is also accused of being behind twin bus bombings in a Christian suburb northeast of Beirut which left three dead and close to 20 wounded in 2007.

Last year a Fatah al-Islam militant managed to break out of the Rumieh facility but was recaptured a day later.

Rumieh was originally built to house 1,500 inmates but today is crammed with more than 4,000 men — 65 percent of the country’s prison population.

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