SIDON, Lebanon: A personal dispute between an activist and Syrian refugee laborers led to a shootout over the weekend in the coastal city of Sidon, leaving three people wounded, security sources told The Daily Star.
Louay Mansour, the official with the local NGO the Humanitarian Association for Refugees, was involved in the incident which took place at the Imam Ouzai College complex, located at the northern entrance to the city of Sidon.
Mansour quarreled with two Syrian laborers who reside at the school over personal and financial issues, the sources said.
The dispute escalated into a shootout during which Mansour was wounded in the hand. The two Syrians, identified as Shaher Saeed and Mohammad al-Aweed, were also wounded.
In a statement issued Sunday, the Lebanese Army said Mansour – nicknamed Abou Khaled – exchanged gunfire with two of the school’s residents which left all three wounded.
The sources said an Army unit arrested the shooters and cordoned off the location of the incident.
Sources well acquainted with the issue said that Mansour was overseeing the construction process of new rooms in the complex. They added that the clash occurred when the Syrian workers failed to follow Mansour’s instructions, leading to a quarrel. The sources said the workers later asked Mansour to come to the complex, where they assaulted him.
Security sources told The Daily Star that the complex, in which Syrian refugees have been living for a year, has been threatening the civil peace of Sidon, especially as some of the refugees possess guns. They said swift intervention by the security forces is needed before the complex is turned into a base for terrorism.
Sources from relief agencies working in the complex also said that the situation within the location has been threatening its vicinity and several schools near it.
The complex is currently under the supervision of the United Nations through the non-governmental organization “Premiere Urgence.”
Head of the Union of Aid Organizations in Sidon Kamel Kizbar emphasized that the complex is not under the supervision of the union in any way.
The union issued a statement in which it “completely denounced the incident and especially the presence of weapons.”
The union asked the “security and judicial systems to carry out the necessary investigations and hold the perpetrators accountable.”
The union asked the security forces to shoulder their responsibilities and follow up on the refugee complexes in Sidon and assured their full cooperation in this issue.