Celebratory gunfire kills Syrian and damages plane in Lebanon

The nation press services
2021-01-01 | Since 2 Month

Celebratory gunshots to mark the new year killed a Syrian woman in eastern Lebanon and damaged a parked aircraft at Beirut airport on Friday, state media reported.

Stray bullets from such gunfire are a source of constant worry throughout the country, but Lebanese authorities struggle to stamp out the often deadly tradition.

The Syrian refugee died "after being wounded in the head by a stray bullet" that fell on her camp in the eastern town of Baalbek, the National News Agency said.

In the run-up to New Year's Eve celebrations, security forces repeatedly warned on social media against firing shots in the air, specifically mentioning the danger of doing so near the airport.

 

But images circulated on social media showed many people ignored that advice.

A source from Lebanese operator Middle East Airlines told AFP gunfire had damaged one of the company's planes parked on the tarmac at Beirut airport.

The Airbus A321neo, delivered to MEA only last year, would need to be repaired but all other planes were undamaged and able to take off as scheduled, the source said.

Officially, celebratory gunfire is illegal in Lebanon, where firearm ownership is widespread three decades after the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.

In September, Lebanese football player Mohamed Atwi died after being injured the previous month by a stray bullet.



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