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Gunmen kill 3 Lebanon Shiites, Turk: Security source

Last Updated: Monday, June 17, 2013 - 10:45

Baalbek: Gunmen killed three Lebanese Shiites and a Turk on Sunday in Lebanon`s Bekaa Valley, a security source said, revising an earlier toll breakdown, as conflict in neighbouring Syria raised fresh tensions.

The unidentified assailants shot dead "two members of the Jaafar family, an Amhaz family member and a Turk" in an ambush while they were smuggling fuel through the Qaa area, said the security source, asking not to be named. He had initially identified the victims as four Lebanese and said a fifth man was seriously wounded.
But he revised the account to identify the fourth man killed as a Turk with a Lebanese mother, a resident of eastern Lebanon`s Bekaa Valley.

The incident occurred in an agricultural part of Qaa, home to a predominantly Sunni population.

Tensions were running high in the wake of the incident, the source said, with armed members of the Jaafar family gathering around five kilometres (three miles) from the mainly Sunni town of Arsal.

Sunni residents of the area, in a statement, condemned "this attack on honourable members of the region that aims to sow sectarian discord". "We disassociate ourselves from the perpetrators of this massacre whatever their identity," they said, urging the authorities to hunt down the assailants.

An army statement said it had increased patrols in the area and called for calm, saying it would "allow no one to exploit this unfortunate incident and threaten national unity".

The conflict in Syria, pitting a Sunni-led opposition against a regime dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, has worsened tensions in Lebanon.


First Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 - 10:39
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