TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Former Tripoli MP Ahmad Hbous, who accidentally shot himself in the head while cleaning his gun, remains in critical condition, police and medical sources said.
Tripoli police chief Brig. Gen. Bassam Ayoubi and the director of the Albert Haykel Hospital, where Hbous was taken, both confirmed that the former lawmaker was still alive.
A source at the hospital earlier said that Hbous, 73, had died during surgery.
Security sources told The Daily Star that Hbous was taken to Haykel Hospital in the northern region of Koura around midday with a severe brain hemorrhage.
"While he was cleaning his handgun in his room, he shot himself accidentally," Hbous' daughter told police. She said the bullet pierced his nose and went into his brain.
Hbous was first elected to Parliament in 1996, representing the Alawite seat in Tripoli. He had won 123,418 votes, which was the highest percentage in the history of parliamentary elections in the north. The former Tripoli MP was re-elected in 2000, serving in Parliament until 2004.
Hbous is married to Souad Mrash and has four young children, Mohammed, Salem and two daughters, Sherine and Gigi.
The former MP, a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad, is one of the most prominent figures among the Alawite sect.
Hbous, who ran on former Interior Minister Sleiman Frangieh’s electoral list in the 2000 elections, also supported some opposition demands; namely holding parliamentary elections on time and an international probe into former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination.
Hbous lobbied during the 1960s and 1970s for the Alawite sect’s right to participate in politics before the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War. The offshoot sect of Islam was integrated into Lebanese political life with the formulation of the Taif Accord - the peace deal that ended Lebanon’s 15-year Civil War.
Taif stipulated that Alawites be granted two seats in Parliament (representing Akkar and Tripoli), two representatives to head governmental institutions and one diplomatic post.