Lebanon Christian leader shot dead

Pierre Gemayel, a Lebanese cabinet minister and member of the Christian Phalange party, has been shot dead in Beirut. His convoy was attacked in a Christian neighbourhood on Tuesday.

Lebanon Christian leader shot dead
Gemayel, son of ex-president Amin Gemayel, was a member of the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, which is locked in a power struggle with pro-Syrian factions.
Analysts say Gemayel's death is likely to worsen tensions in the already divided country.
Al Jazeera's correspondent Roula Amin said that there was panic in Beirut after the assassination, with people rushing to get home.



Amin quoted Saad Hariri, the head of the anti-Syrian Future bloc, as pointing an accusing finger at Syria.


She said there had been speculation in recent weeks about a political assassination, with Hezbollah having put the Siniora government on notice.


Gemayel was shot as he sat in his car

The Kataeb (Phalange) Party was involved Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war, and has a considerable following among Christians.


Ahmed Melli, member of Hezbollah, told Al Jazeera: "We strongly condemn and denounce this killing. It was carried out by those forces who want to harm the future of Lebanon."


'Syrian hand'


Saad Hariri, son of Rafiq al-Hariri, the slain Lebanese prime minister, said: "Today one of our main believers in a free, democratic Lebanon has been killed. We believe the hands of Syria are all over the place.


"The people of Lebanon will not give up on the international tribunal. This will make them even more determined. We will bring justice to those who killed Pierre Gemayel."


Jordan's King Abdullah said: "We strongly condemn this ugly crime. This is a cowardly act that targets the security and stability of Lebanon.

"The Lebanese have to unify their ranks at this phase and not allow the preachers of death, disunity and destruction to succeed in creating a split in the cohesion of the Lebanese people."
Pierre Amin Gemayel was born on 1972 in Bekfaya.
He had his education from La Sagesse University. He was married to Patricia Daif.


Gemayel was first elected as a deputy in 2000. He was re-elected as MP in 2005 from Metn, the second district of Mount Lebanon. He was also a member of the Maronite Christian Qornet Shehwan group.


The shooting comes amid increased tensions in Lebanon. Shia ministers withdrew from the cabinet two weeks ago in protest over power-sharing in Lebanon's government, and Hezbollah is considering street demonstrations if early elections or a national unity government are not forthcoming.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16