Turkey hands over suspect in Sidon attack to Lebanon

Turkey hands over suspect in Sidon attack to Lebanon

Last week's attack in Lebanese city of Sidon left leading Hamas member moderately injured

By Wasim Saif al-Din

BEIRUT (AA) - Turkey has handed a suspect in last week’s bomb attack -- which targeted a leading Hamas member in the Lebanese city of Sidon -- over to Lebanon, the Lebanese authorities announced Tuesday.

"The intelligence branch of Lebanon’s Internal Security Agency has received Ahmed Bitiyya, a suspect in last week’s assassination attempt on Hamas member Mohamed Hamdan," Lebanon’s official National News Agency (NNA) reported.

According to NNA, the Lebanese authorities received Bitiyya from their Turkish counterparts at Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport.

On Saturday, the news agency reported that Lebanese security forces had managed to identify two individuals suspected of involvement in the Jan. 14 bomb attack, which had left Hamdan moderately injured.

Subsequent cooperation between the Lebanese and Turkish authorities had led to the arrest of one of the suspects, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was later quoted as saying by the same news agency.

According to one Lebanese security source, who spoke to Anadolu Agency anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to media, one of the suspects had fled to Turkey where he was eventually arrested by the local authorities.

In the immediate wake of the bombing, leading Hamas member Jihad Taha blamed Israel for the attack.

Sidon is home to the largest of Lebanon’s 12 refugee camps, hosting some 80,000 Palestinian refugees.

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