BEIRUT

Lebanon News

‘World Cup’ victim was murdered: security source

Flags of countries taking part in the world cup sold on the streets of Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Contrary to initial reports, a Syrian national who died Monday was allegedly killed by a relative, not celebratory World Cup gunfire, a security source told The Daily Star.

Mohammad Abdul-Nasser Khayat, 40, was shot in the head at his apartment in Aramoun, after a dispute with a family member, the source said

Earlier reports blamed his death on celebratory gunfire after Germany’s national team won against Portugal in Monday’s World Cup match.

The reports turned out to have originated from Khayyat’s family, who told police that a stray bullet had hit Khayat, killing him immediately, the source said.

However, police conducted further investigations and discovered that the bullet entered Khayyat’s head from the side, not the top, as would have been expected if it had been a stray bullet. Moreover, the flesh around the entry wound was cauterized, indicating it was fired from less than three meters away.

Authorities determined the gun was pointed directly at the victim's head when it was fired at close range, ruling out a stray bullet from the celebrations, the source said.

He added that the motive remains unclear and investigations are ongoing.

Police speculated that the dispute was either over the World Cup, or related to the Syrian crisis.

The Internal Security Forces released a statement Tuesday calling on citizens to refrain from celebratory gunfire or fireworks. Such acts, according to the statement, "sometimes result in deaths or injuries, or troubles between one neighborhoods' residents, and disturb other citizens and spread fear and panic among them."

The statement also announced that those who commit these acts will be subject to arrest and legal punishment.

 

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