A billboard depicting former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is seen in the southern city of Sidon, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
SIDON, Lebanon: Pedestrians at a square in the southern city of Sidon ran for cover in panic Friday after they mistook a thief racing toward a nearby mosque for a suicide bomber.
The man behind the incident at Al-Quds Square Friday evening, a Palestinian identified only by his first name Elias, had snatched an amount of money from a local storekeeper.
Pedestrians on a nearby street panicked after they saw the man race past them toward the Sheikh Maher Hammoud’s Mosque and heard the shopkeeper yelling at them to stop him.
Thinking he was a suicide bomber, some of the pedestrians ran for cover.
One of the mosque’s guards fired several shots in the air to disperse the crowd that had gathered in the vicinity following Friday prayers.
The guard later managed to catch the thief. The man was frisked and found not to be carrying any explosives device.
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