Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Libya, Lebanon to cooperate in missing imam case

Libya, Lebanon to cooperate in missing imam case

Lebanon's foreign minister said Thursday Libya has agreed to cooperate with his country to determine the fate of a top Shiite cleric whose disappearance in 1978 has been blamed on former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Adnan Mansour raised the issue of Imam Moussa al-Sadr during a meeting with the head of Libya's interim government, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil. Mansour was in Tripoli along with the son of the influential imam.
Al-Sadr was the founder of a Shiite political and military group that took part in the long Lebanese civil war that began in 1975, largely pitting Muslims against Christians. He vanished, along with two other people, during a trip to Tripoli in 1978.
The disappearance has been a long-standing sore point in Lebanon. The imam's family believes he may still be alive in a Libyan prison, though most Lebanese presume al-Sadr is dead. Today he would be 80 years old.
Mansour said Libya agreed to allow a Lebanese judge to sit in on the Libyan committee investigating the al-Sadr case.
"We found great cooperation from the Libyan brothers on all levels," he said. "They will stand by our side and pursue this case and do the necessary investigations to liberate the three hostages."
Al-Sadr was one of the pioneers of Shiite movement that has become a force across the Middle East, spurred by the 1979 Islamic revolution in Shiite Iran.
Born in the Iranian holy city of Qom, al-Sadr came to Lebanon in 1959 to work for the rights of Shiites in the southern port of Tyre. In 1974, a year before Lebanon's 15-year civil war broke out, al-Sadr founded the Movement of the Deprived, attracting thousands of followers.
The following year, he established the military wing Amal _ Arabic for "hope" and an acronym for the militia's Arabic name, the Lebanese Resistance Brigades _ which later fought in Lebanon's civil war.
Since al-Sadr's disappearance, Libya has always insisted the cleric and his two traveling companions left Tripoli on a flight to Rome and suggested he was a victim of a power struggle among Shiites.
Most of al-Sadr's followers are convinced Gadhafi ordered al-Sadr killed in a dispute over Libyan payments to Lebanese militias.


Updated : 2021-10-19 00:14 GMT+08:00