Killing of Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Wahid condemned


There are conflicting reports about the killing of Lebanese citizen Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Wahid who was reportedly shot at a Lebanese army checkpoint in Kweikhat, Akkar as he was heading to the northern Lebanese town of Halba to participate in a rally.

National News Agency reported on Sunday that an “armed convoy” carrying Sheikh Abdel Wahid refused to stop at a Lebanese army checkpoint in Akkar.

The report added that the Lebanese army opened fire when the convoy failed to stop, which led to the death of Sheikh Abdel Wahid and a bodyguard identified as Mohammad Hussein Merheb, both from the town of Al-Beri.

Abdel Wahid was scheduled to make a speech at a Jamaa al-Islamiya rally in Halba. The event has since been called off. The party has also issued a statement denying its involvement in the rally.

One of Abdel Wahid’s companions later recounted the details of the shooting to LBC, saying that the vehicle stopped at the checkpoint where some members of the army insulted Abdel Wahid, who said that he will no longer be heading to the rally.

He was then prevented from turning the car around and came under fire by the army members, added the clergyman’s companion.

On the other hand a security source later told MTV that the army checkpoint at Kweikhat came under gunfire and it was not the first to shoot at Abdul Wahid’s vehicle as had been reported.

Two separate rallies were planned for today in Halba to commemorate those who were killed during the May 7, 2008 clashes.

One rally was organized by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and the other by families of some people who were allegedly killed by SSNP members.

Army offered condolences

The Lebanese army later issued a statement saying a “tragic incident” took place at an army checkpoint in the northern Lebanese village of Koueikhat in Akkar during which Abdel Wahid and his bodyguard were shot and killed.

The army offered its condolences to the families of the victims and said that it immediately formed a committee comprised of high-ranking military officers to investigate the incident.

Army accused of killing

LBC television station reported Sunday that residents of the Lebanese northern town of Halba are accusing the Lebanese army of “killing” Sheikh Abdel Wahed and his bodyguard.

The LBC report also said that residents in Sheikh Abdel Wahid’s village of Al-Beri have blocked the area’s main road.

Future bloc MP Khaled Daher told Al-Jazeera Sunday that the death of Sheikh Abdel Wahid “was a deliberate assassination operation.”

incident condemned

Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya on Sunday condemned the shooting which led to the death of Sheikh Abdel Wahid . The group called on the Lebanese army to immediately open a “fair” investigation into the incident.

Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Republic Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani said on Sunday that the death of Sheikh Abdel Wahid “was surprising and contemptible.”

He also called for launching an investigation into the incident as soon as possible, according to a press statement.