Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 September 2020

Lebanon: two dead after police station shooting

Beirut was rocked by violent anti-government protests on Tuesday

Lebanese riot police arrest anti-government protester Chebl Yassine during a demonstration outside a police station in Beirut on January 15, 2020. AP Photo
Lebanese riot police arrest anti-government protester Chebl Yassine during a demonstration outside a police station in Beirut on January 15, 2020. AP Photo

Two Lebanese policemen died after being shot in a police station in Beirut on Tuesday, a source told The National.

The assailant, Hassan Hussein, was visiting his brother who was detained at the police station in the southern suburb of Ouzai, LBCI TV reported.

A dispute broke out between the brothers, prompting one policeman, Jalal Sharif, 30, to intervene.

Hussein wrenched the gun from Sharif and shot him dead. He also shot and wounded two other policemen, Ziad Al Attar and Ali Amhaz, before killing himself.

Al Attar, 40, later died in hospital, where he was being treated.

The army arrested seven of the 20 prisoners who escaped from the station during the shooting.

Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces said Sharif was married with two young children while Al Attar was also married with three children.

TV channel Al Jadeed broadcast graphic footage of a man in civilian clothes lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the police station, which was cordoned off by security forces.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab tweeted that “the prestige of the state” had been targeted “once again”.

“Security are a red line,” Mr Diab said.

The incident did not appear to be related to the violent clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces that occurredearlier on Tuesday.

The Lebanese Red Cross said that 373 people were wounded after protesters tried to to stop politicians from meeting in parliament for a vote of confidence in the new Cabinet, which they rejected when it was announced on January 21.

Lebanon has had more than three months of demonstrations amid the country’s worst economic crisis since its independence in 1943.

Street battles between protesters, who hurled rocks at security forces, lasted for hours until central Beirut was cleared mid-afternoon.

Young men tried to break through concrete blocks and iron walls set up to protect parliament, and vandalised a bank.

Parliament passed the confidence vote on Tuesday evening after 63 MPs voted in support of the new government while 20 voted against it and one abstained.

Updated: February 13, 2020 08:49 AM

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