Lebanon releases 9 Islamists held 5 years

AP News
Posted: Jun 19, 2012 9:21 AM
Lebanon releases 9 Islamists held 5 years

Security officials say nine Islamists detained without trial for five years over suspected links to an extremist group have been released on bail.

The men were arrested in 2007 after three months of clashes in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon. Authorities said the men had links to the militant Fatah al-Islam.

Seven are Lebanese, one is a Syrian and the other is a Palestinian. They were released Tuesday.

They are among a group of around 180 people arrested after clashes in 2007 between the army and Fatah al-Islam. The battles killed more than 170 soldiers and as dozens of militants and Palestinian civilians.

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Many of the detainees are being held without trial. Their relatives have been staging protests demanding that authorities speed up legal procedures.