5 Brothers Arrested in al-Nabaa over Killings of Taxi Drivers

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said on Tuesday that five brothers were arrested in a raid on an apartment in al-Nabaa over the attacks on 11 people, mostly taxi drivers, in the past three months.

During a press conference, Charbel gave the details of the arrest that took place at 1:30 am and said the investigation into the killings was underway.

He earlier told LBCI TV network that only 2 of the 5 brothers are suspected of killing 9 people and injuring two others in the coastal north Metn area between the towns of Sin el-Fil and Nahr al-Mot.

The five brothers were identified as George, Aziz, Massis, Michel and Maurice Tanielian.

The minister unveiled that the Intelligence Branch was able to arrest the five men after undercover agents drove taxis in the areas where the crimes were taking place and in Kesrouan.

Last week, a member of the Intelligence Branch and two of the brothers wrangled in Kesrouan and the policeman was able to injure one of them and take his blood sample.

The sample was tested for DNA paving the way for the arrest. Another lead was when the suspects sought to sell the mobile phone of one of the victims, Corporal Ziad Hani Dib, the minister said.

Among the other victims are Albert al-Nashar, Hagop Yacoubian and Shaker Abdel Nour.

The killers marked their signatures by firing single shots at the head of the victims using a 7.85mm pistol and then throwing their bodies either on the side of the road or keeping them in their vehicles.

Their cars were later burned to remove all evidence.

MTV said the five brothers were trouble makers and were most often seen drunk in their neighborhood. The TV station quoted neighbors as saying that George Tanielian was jailed for five years for drug possession.

Al-Akhbar newspaper described the murders as the first serial killings in Lebanese history.

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