A Lebanese cleric and his brothers have murdered a man and mutilated his body in a method calling to mind the gruesome executions of the Islamic State jihadist group, media reports said.
The incident in the northern district of Dinniyeh followed a verbal dispute between the cleric, Khalil al-Dhaibi, and the 43-year-old victim, Mohammed al-Dhaibi, over a “blasphemous slur,” the reports said.
Al-Jadeed television said the cleric and his brothers “stabbed the man to death, mutilated his corpse and threw him on the side of the road near the town of Burj al-Yahoodiyeh.”
“My brother, who had an aid card from the social affairs ministry, was buying goods from a supermarket before an argument broke out between him and the supermarket owner over a hike in prices,” the victim's brother said in an interview with al-Jadeed.
“My brother, who was spontaneous in his actions, hurled a slur mentioning God over the high prices,” the brother added.
“The cleric asked him why he was blaspheming against God and accused him of apostasy and my brother told him to mind his own business,” the brother explained.
“Are you my God to hold me accountable,” he quoted his brother as telling the cleric.
“The cleric responded and they engaged in a verbal clash and maybe charged against each other and the issue ended at that point,” the brother said.
He added: “The cleric then brought his brothers and they ambushed my brother on the road.”
“They mutilated his body... I met the forensic doctor and he told me about a wound that is 19 centimeters long, 7-8 centimeters deep and 6-7 centimeters wide near the heart... There is a wound near the lung while the hand is cut off and is barely attached to the body. There are also wounds on the legs, the head and the entire body,” the brother added.
“They removed a part of his heart,” he said.
A statement issued by the Internal Security Forces said the victim “insulted the cleric and cursed God” and that both men and the cleric's brothers used knives in the quarrel.
“The ISF's Intelligence Branch arrested one of the brothers in hospital after he was wounded while the two others have turned themselves in to the Branch, knowing that they also suffered knife wounds,” the statement added.
Al-Jadeed meanwhile said that the cleric is the imam of a mosque in the northern area of Deir Amar and that he “has turned himself in to security authorities while expressing pride in what he committed.”
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