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Lebanon: Army Deployed in Khalde after Opening Fire at Funeral Procession

Al Mayadeen correspondent reported the arrival of reinforcements from the Lebanese Commando Regiment to Khalde, south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

In this context, the Lebanese army issued a statement in which it confirmed that its deployed units “will open fire at any gunman on sight in Khaldeh.”

In the statement, the Lebanese army clarified that “during the funeral of Ali Shibli in Khaldeh, gunmen opened fire at the funeral procession, which led to confrontations that resulted in a number of deaths, while others were wounded, including one soldier.”

The Head of Al Mayadeen office in Beirut confirmed that “a number of victims, dead and wounded, fell in the ambush that was set up for Shibli’s funeral procession.” 

She explained that “Hezbollah has no official presence in Khaldeh; there are only supporters.”

Several Lebanese media outlets reported that “Ali Shibli’s funeral procession came under fire,” and that “a number of families tried to flee from the area, while others are stuck inside their homes amidst sniping assaults.”

Scenes of the shooting in Khaldeh went viral on social media.

Commenting on the shooting, Hezbollah issued a statement in which it said that “during the funeral of the martyr Ali Shibli to his final resting place in the southern town of Kounine, and when the funeral procession arrived at the family’s home in Khaldeh, mourners fell into a premeditated ambush and came under the heavy gunfire of armed men in the area, which led to the martyrdom of two mourners and a number of injuries.” 

The statement added that “Hezbollah’s leadership is following the issue with great interest and high accuracy and calls on the army and security forces to intervene decisively to restore the security and spare no effort to stop the criminal killers and arrest them, in preparation for their prosecution.”

Earlier, Hezbollah had issued a statement in which it affirmed its absolute rejection of “all types of killing and the desecration of sanctities and dignities.” 

The statement added, “We call upon the security and judicial bodies to firmly stand up against the perpetrators and whoever proves to be involved,” and demanded going after those who foment sedition, block the roads, and insult the people.” 

The statement called on the state to carry out its duties of pursuing the perpetrators and holding them accountable in the case of Martyr Ali Shibli.”

On his part, the Lebanese President Michel Aoun called on the army leadership to take immediate measures in order to restore calm to Khaldeh, arrest the shooters, pull out the gunmen, and secure the movement of citizens on the international highway.

Aoun said, “The current circumstances do not allow any security breach or any practices capable of enflaming the sedition that must be thwarted at an early stage, and all parties must cooperate to achieve this goal.”

The Lebanese “Future Movement” in Lebanon explained that its leadership “is following closely the developments of the dangerous security situation in Khaldeh and is communicating with the concerned sides, especially the heads of the Arab tribes, for the sake of restoring calm.”

In this context, the Movement expressed its deepest sorrow for the resulting deaths and injuries and for the loss of control.

For its part, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party said that “the Khaldeh ambush is an external operation order of creating dangerous security threats,” adding that “the goal behind what happened is to drag the Resistance forces into sedition and armed conflict.”