This undated file photo shows Syrian child Ahmad al-Zoabi. (Social media)
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The light reaches only a short way down the six-story ventilation shaft, at the bottom of which Ahmad al-Zoubi was found dead three days after he went missing.Young shoeshiners like Zoubi are a common sight on the streets of Beirut. While it is illegal for Syrians of any age to work in the profession -- they are only supposed to work certain jobs in agriculture, construction and environment -- the rates of child labor among Syrian refugee boys between the ages of 5 and 17 stands at 3.4 percent, according to the 2018 Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon, published by the U.N. refugee agency. Zoubi's cousin, also called Ahmad, told The Daily Star the boy's father wanted him to enroll in school.Zoubi's work brought him into conflict with the authorities.Multiple sources also said Zoubi would complain of having been beaten by the police, a charge the municipality strongly denies.In a statement the municipality said that police wanted to question Zoubi and one other over the theft of a Zakat donation box opposite Le Bristol Hotel. They managed to arrest one of the suspects, who was subsequently released, but failed to catch Zoubi.
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