BEIRUT: Soldiers shot and killed a 38-year-old Lebanese man Sunday at an Army checkpoint at Madfoun Bridge in Batroun in north Lebanon. According to the Army, the shooting occurred when Charbel Albert Rahme refused to stop at the checkpoint in Madfoun. Although soldiers fired warning shots in the air and attempted to stop his car with road blocks, Rahme continued to drive through the checkpoint.
When soldiers shot at Rahme’s car in another attempt to force him to stop, bullets struck Rahme, killing him.
His body was taken to a hospital in Batroun, where his family members and friends gathered. Lebanese Forces officials and MPs also visited the hospital and condemned the shooting.
“Rahme did not deserve to die in this manner,” Batroun MP Elie Keyrouz told reporters upon arriving to the hospital.
Military Police quickly launched an investigation into the incident and cordoned off the area surrounding the Madfoun Bridge. Security sources told The Daily Star that two soldiers from the Lebanese Army were being interrogated over the killing of Rahme.
While no further information about Rahme was disclosed Sunday, his family said that his brother is a major in the Lebanese Army.
His friends and family members in Bsharri protested the killing and blocked the southern entrance of the town with burning tires. Lebanese Forces Bsharri MPs Elie Keyrouz and Strida Geagea and the Internal Security Forces quickly intervened and reopened the road to traffic.
“I call on everyone to exercise caution and wait for the results of the investigation launched by the Lebanese Army,” Keyrouz told Rahme’s friends.
Rahme’s brother called on all his brother’s friends and relatives to leave the streets and gather at the Saint Saba Church in Bsharri for prayers.
Last week, soldiers at an Army checkpoint in Akkar shot and killed two preachers, Sheikh Ahmad Abdel-Wahed and Sheikh Mohammad al-Mereb.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 28, 2012, on page 3.