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The Lebanese army intelligence has arrested Ehab al-Ezzi a young man charged with fabricating a story claiming that Islamist gunmen had chopped off his fingers with a sword during Sunday’s unrest in the Beirut district of Tariq al-Jedideh.

Future television said the army “will issue a statement” clarifying the circumstances of the issue and will report that the story is “made up and fabricated.”

OTV also reported that “ Ezzi was arrested by the army on charges of fabricating a story claiming that his fingers were cut off at the hands of alleged gunmen.”

In a report published Wednesday by An Nahar newspaper, Ezzi claimed that a number of gunmen had chopped off the fingers of his left hand with a sword while chanting Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest).

He said the incident took place on Sunday near the Beirut Arab University in the mainly Sunni area of Tariq al-Jedideh.

But LBCI television reported that investigations proved that Ezzi had lost his fingers during a fight with a friend over the ownership of a motorcycle, .

Ezzi sought to receive free of charge medical treatment after the health ministry instructed hospitals to treat those wounded in the clashes that followed the assassination last Friday of Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, LBCI reported.

“They asked about my religious sect and I told them I’m Lebanese. But one of them, sporting a heavy, long beard, pulled from my neck a necklace with the sword of Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb on it, threw it on the ground and started stepping on it along with the other gunmen who were near him. After that, one of them who was wearing an Afghan outfit brandished a long sword and prepared to hit my head. At that moment I shouted, ‘No! Not my head. Don’t kill me!’” Ezzi claimed in his story to An Nahar.

Later on Wednesday, An Nahar said “it turns out that Ezzi was wounded in Beirut’s southern suburbs, not in Tariq al-Jedideh,” promising readers that it will publish the full details of the incident on Thursday.

Punish him

Lebanese Forces on Thursday praised the Lebanese army intelligence for arresting of Ehab al-Ezzi an called for punishing him

“We call for trying Ezzi and punishing him along with anyone who aided him,” the LF said in a statement.

It added that punishing Ezzi will be a lesson to anyone who incites sectarian strife in Lebanon.

Naharnet/Now

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