Lassa Residents Vow Escalatory Measures over Failure to Hand over Wata al-Joz Shooterإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The residents of Lassa condemned on Saturday the failure to hand over the shooter in the Wata al-Joz incident over to the judiciary.
They vowed that they may take “escalatory measures” should the assailant remain at large.
They noted that Lassa lies in an area near various tourist destinations, warning that they may block the roads to areas such as Kfardebian and Faraya should the state fail to apprehend the criminal.
“We call on officials who are keen on Lebanon and mutual coexistence to hand the criminal over to the judiciary,” they demanded.
The residents blocked the Hrajel-Mayrouba road in order to protest the failure to apprehend the criminal, even though media reports Friday said that he had in fact handed himself over to the security authorities.
“We are speaking from a position of power not weakness,” they declared.
“We do not want to take justice into our own hands,” they warned
“We hope that this issue would not be transformed into strife,” they added.
The residents later reopened the Hrajel-Mayrouba road, said LBCI television.
Al-Jadeed television later reported that the shooter had turned himself over to security forces.
Ghassan Seifeddine and his son Hadi were killed during an individual dispute, which erupted after a traffic accident, in the Wata al-Joz region on Thursday.
Meanwhile Former Minister Farid Haykal al-Khazen stressed in a statement he gave from Hrajel that this is an “individual incident and that an entire village should not be blamed for it”.
"We refuse to blame an entire region for what was committed by one person,” al-Khazen said, calling on the three presidents and the leaders of the Shiite sect to immediately draw an end to this case to avoid any possible sedition.
He also called on the security forces to “look for the suspect and submit him for legal investigation”.
Later on Saturday, the village's Sheikh Itawi announced that the two men will be buried on Sunday afternoon. This announcement came after Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah interfered and requested that the families withdraw their pledge of sentencing the accused to death before they lay the bodies of Ghassan and Hadi to rest.
Investigations revealed the attacker as Anthony Khalil Khalil, who fled the scene soon after the shooting.
On Friday, relatives of the victims in Lassa blocked the Mayrouba-Wata al-Joz road to demand the arrest of Khalil.