Chbaniye: The village of Chbaniye in Mt Lebanon bid farewell today to Lutfi Zeineddine, 50 , a member of the Progressive Socialist Party ( PSP) who died yesterday of his severe wounds. He was stabbed Saturday by March 8 supporters as he was returning from a mass rally commemorating
the fourth anniversary of the assassination of former PM Rafiq Hariri
PSP chief MP Walid Jumblatt and parliament majority leader MP Saad Hariri in addition to several key dignitaries attended the funeral.
Jumblatt appealed for calm and restraint during the funeral on Monday:
"Lebanon today is above all divisions and wounds," Jumblatt told mourners
Jumblatt told the mourners in Chbaniye: The army has done its duty , as arrests were made against those suspected of attacking the March 14 supporters, and we are awaiting justice.
Jumblatt also told the mourners that he had called Lebanese Army Commander Jean Kahwaji, who "assured him that he will handle the matter and take appropriate measures against the perpetrators "
"Only the state, the army, the security services and the justice system will protect us," added Jumblatt, the anti-Syrian Druze leader, who urged his followers to refrain from revenge attacks in the wake of Zeineddin death.
Zeineddine is of the Druze faith. Last May, it was the Druze of Mt Lebanon that defeated Hezbollah and ended its aggression against Beirut and the rest of the country. Several Hezbollah members were killed as they tried to occupy the cities of Aley, Souk el Gharb, Chouifat and several other towns and villages in Mt Lebanon.
The PSP has accused supporters of the Hezbollah-led alliance of being behind Zeineddine's killing.
Hezbollah has denied any involvement.
As Zeineddine's funeral was being Hezbollah was preparing on Monday to commemorate the first anniversary of the murder in Damascus of its top commander Imad Mughniyah .
Hezbollah MP Hussein Hajj Hassan praised the way Jumblatt has handled the slaying of Zeineddine during an interview with NBN television on Monday and said: The Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt’s speech on Sunday “was responsible and open, and it is important that [people] abide by it.”
“Two delegations from the March 14 and 8 alliances met on Sunday to contain the situation,” Hajj Hassan said, “[And] Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah will call for reducing tensions on Monday during his televised speech.”
Top picture: Hanadi, the daughter of Lutfi Zeinddine, reacts, during his funeral procession, in the village of Chbaniye in Mt Lebanon , Monday Feb. 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Druze Sheiks gather around the coffin of Lutfi Zeinddine, seen in the center, as they pray during his funeral procession, in village of Chbaniye in Mt Lebanon , Monday Feb. 16, 2009 (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Druse Sheiks, seen by the coffin of Lutfi Zeinddine, during his funeral procession, Monday Feb. 16, 2009 (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
PSP chief and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, right, offers his condolences to Druze Sheikhs during the funeral procession of Lutfi Zeinddine on Monday Feb. 16, 2009 (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Tags: Druze, Hezbollah, Jumblatt, Lebanon, Syria, Ya Libnan