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Photo credit: AP/Mohammed Zaatari

 

    

Photo credit: AP/Mohammed Zaatari

 

A mob of angry Lebanese villagers stabbed to death an Egyptian man and then lynched his naked body in the centre of town over allegations he killed four members of a local family.

Mohammed Msallem, a 38-year-old Egyptian who worked as a butcher in Ketermaya, had been arrested a day earlier on suspicion of shooting to death an elderly couple and their two young granddaughters, aged seven and nine.

He was leading police investigators through a re-enactment of the killings when dozens of residents attacked him with sticks and knives, security officials said.

Police rushed Msallem to the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital, but residents broke in, dragged him out and pounded him with sticks.

A security official said police at the scene could not stop the attackers, who blocked streets in the village to prevent police reinforcements from reaching the scene. 

After killing Msallem, the attackers stripped his bloody body down to the victim’s underwear and drove it through town on a car hood, with several local men standing on the hood cheering. 

They then hanged the body from a pole in the centre of town as hundreds of residents cried ‘Allahu Akbar,’ or God is great. Some villagers even took photos of the dead man with their mobile phones.

His body hung from the pole for about ten minutes before Lebanese army troops took him down and drove him away in a jeep.

The rare mob attack shocked many, and security officials said police who were escorting the man at the time were unable to prevent the killing in the Chouf mountain town of Ketermaya.

Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud ordered an investigation and said such vigilante justice was ‘extremely dangerous’.

ecurity officials said Msallem had confessed to killing the four family members, but the motive was not immediately clear. 

One official said Ketermaya residents also believed Msallem had raped a 15-year-old local girl a month earlier, but that report could not be independently confirmed.

There was no immediate word of arrests in the attack. 

Crime has been on the rise in Lebanon but such vigilante mob killings have been rare since the end of the 1975-90 Civil War, during which political violence was common. – The Daily Mail

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