Baku-APA. Hundreds of Lebanese soldiers and policemen deployed into Hezbollah strongholds south of Beirut on Monday, after officials said they had reached a deal with the Shiite militant group to send troops into neighborhoods where they long had only a symbolic presence, APA reports quoting Associated Press.
The agreement follows a backlash against Hezbollah's tightened security measures in the area known as Dahiyeh after an Aug. 15 car bomb attack that killed 27 people.
By the afternoon, troops in armored personnel carriers and other vehicles had set up checkpoints and were searching cars and asking people for identity cards.
The deployment is likely to be welcomed by Lebanese who feel that Hezbollah's strength has eroded the government's authority. Local businessmen and Hezbollah's Western-backed political rivals protested the group's checkpoints in Dahiyeh, while Saudi Arabia filed a complaint after Hezbollah members last month stopped a diplomatic car.
"We are strengthening the state's authority in Dahiyeh," Interior Minister Marwan Charbel told reporters.