BEIRUT — Army intelligence arrested several people early on Tuesday morning as they were allegedly making an illegal migration attempt from al-Abdeh beach in North Lebanon, L’Orient Today’s correspondent in the area reported.
According to our correspondent, around 15 Lebanese and Palestinian suspects were arrested, with the army handing the detainees over to the relevant judicial authorities. An investigation into the matter has been launched, our correspondent said, adding that so far no alleged smugglers have been arrested in relation to the incident.
Many people have been trying to leave Lebanon by irregular sea routes amid the worsening economic crisis in the country. At least 60 passengers onboard a migrant boat that departed from North Lebanon on Sept. 3 were stranded at sea for days between the Greek and Maltese coasts before the Greek coast guard rescued them. A 4-year-old Syrian child died while being transferred to a Greek hospital.
In April, a migrant boat with dozens of people aboard sank off the coast of Tripoli after a Lebanese Army vessel intercepted it. Around 40 people were killed in the shipwreck, and several more are still missing at sea.
Reporting contributed by Michel Hallak