- Title: Mourners hold funeral for Hezbollah member killed in revenge attack
- Date: 2nd August 2021
- Summary: MORE OF MOURNERS CARRYING SHIBLI'S COFFIN DRAPED IN HEZBOLLAH FLAG
- Embargoed: 16th August 2021 14:59
- Keywords: Lebanon clashes funeral security
- Location: KUNIN AND KHALDEH, LEBANON
- City: KUNIN AND KHALDEH, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Middle East,Civil Unrest,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA002EOL7X3B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Mourners bid on Monday (August 2) final farewell to Hezbollah member Ali Shibli, shot dead on Saturday (July 31) at a wedding and whose funeral procession was attacked on Sunday (August 1) in Khaldeh.
The Lebanese army detained two men over the attack on Shi'ite mourners at Shibli's funeral procession where three people were killed, a security source said, after the Shi'ite group Hezbollah demanded the perpetrators be arrested to avoid civil strife.
The shooting in Khaldeh, a town just south of Beirut where tensions between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims have been simmering, prompted warnings against sectarian bloodshed with Lebanon already suffering destabilizing financial and political crises.
The heavily armed, Iranian-backed Hezbollah called the attack a "great aggression" and warned of serious consequences if the attackers were not detained.
Sunni Arab tribes claimed responsibility, saying it was in revenge for the killing of one of their members last year in Khaldeh.
Army intelligence stormed the homes of a number of wanted people and detained a person involved in the funeral attack, the army said. A second suspect was also detained, the security source said.
Soldiers deployed heavily in Khaldeh, where an armoured vehicle was stationed outside Shibli's house and bullet shell casings could be seen on the ground. The army said gunmen had opened fire on the funeral cortege, leading to clashes.
Hezbollah has said it is seeking to maintain calm but could not control everyone angered by the attack, which it has called a planned ambush.
Lebanon is already suffering the greatest threat to its stability since the 1975-90 civil war due to the crippling financial crisis that has sunk the currency by more than 90%.
This week also marks the first anniversary of the devastating Aug. 4 Beirut port explosion.
(Production: Aziz Taher, Hassan Hankir, Ali Hankir, Alaa Kanaan, Yara Abi Nader)
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