Lebanon News

Man dies of wounds sustained in east Lebanon clashes

Lebanese Army soldiers deploy in Baalbek following deadly clashes on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

HERMEL, Lebanon: A vegetable vendor died Saturday night of wounds he sustained during last week’s clashes in Baalbek between Hezbollah members and members of Shiyyah family, bringing the death toll from the incident to five.

Ali Mustafa al-Rifai was pushing his vegetable cart through the eastern city of Baalbek on Sept. 28 when fighting broke out.

He was attempting to move a wounded man away from the fighting when he was shot in the head.

Rifai was buried in the city Sunday. Several political, religious and local figures and officials attended the funeral.

Mufti Sheikh Bakr al-Rifai who headed the funeral procession said Sunday that Baalbek's residents have the right to know who caused the fighting and the deaths of five people.

“We don't want strife, nor do we advocate for it, but the blood of this man and other martyrs compels us to know the reason behind the shooting,” the sheikh said.

“It is a legitimate legal demand that none of us can abandon,” he added.

He also said that Baalbek would remain committed to the Lebanese state and its institutions.

“Our hand is extended to every wise and alert man who is keen on preserving this region and this country,” he said.

The mufti said Rifai's death was not only a loss for his family but also for the entire city.

In addition to those killed, four people excluding Rifai were wounded.

The fighting, which lasted some five hours, erupted over a personal dispute between the Sunni Shiyyah family and members of the resistance group at one of the party’s checkpoints in the city.

The clashes which raised sectarian tensions in the Bekaa region were contained after Hezbollah officials and Sunni local figures met to prevent further escalation.

 

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