The charming Shouf village of Baakline witnessed a horrendous massacre yesterday, during which 9 people were killed, in different areas of the village. Among the victims, 4 Lebanese and 5 Syrian nationals, including 2 children.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
Lebanese security forces are still on a manhunt, but it seems that the killing started at a house near the Baakline river, when a Syrian couple and their two children were shot dead by one man. A 27-year-old local man, identified as Karim Harfoush, was seen to arrive on a bike at the seen, after the gun shots, and he was shot as well. Then, another two Lebanese were gunned down approximately 1 kilometer away, while they were cultivating a land nearby and they were identified as brothers Mohamad and Mahmoud A. from Arsal. Later on, a Syrian worker was shot dead at a distant farmland. The last victim of the shootings was a Lebanese woman from the al-Timani family.
After the first report by authorities, the National News Agency said the killings were carried out by M. Harfoush as a revenge on a Syrian man. It seems that after M. Harfoush had killed the Syrian family by the river and his own wife, his brother, Karim, followed him to try to calm him down, only to be shot dead as well. It is only later that accompanied by another brother, F. Harfoush, that he killed another Syrian man, before fleeing through the Baakline forest.
A VERY CONFUSING CRIME
The horrendous crimes are confusing all residents in the area, as well as the authorities. According to MP Talal Arslan, the crime was a family dispute that escalated into a massacre, and there are indications that the killer could be mentally disturbed. As per Baakline’s Mayor, Abdullah al-Ghoseini, the motives of the killings are still unclear. Though Lebanon is a country where many people keep rifles and firearms in their homes, such shootings are not common.