Beirut [Lebanon]: Two bodyguards accompanying a Lebanese minister were killed and one other sustained injury after gunmen open fired on their convoy near country’s capital Beirut on Sunday.
The incident took place in the Mount Lebanon town, when the convoy of Saleh al-Gharib, the minister of state handling refugee affairs, reportedly tried to pass through the blockades, which were placed to oppose a visit by Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil in the area, reported Al Arabiya.
The barricades were placed by the followers of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party (PSP). The party, in turn, has claimed that the minister’s bodyguards fired on the protestors despite their attempts to open the road and remove the blockades.
In an interview with Lebanon’s al-Jadeed TV, Gharib said that “what happened was an armed ambush and a clear assassination attempt.”
The area where the incident took place is loyal to anti-Damascus Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, a fierce opponent of the Syrian government.
Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has held a series of contacts with the Druze parties, security chiefs and Bassil to de-escalate the tensions between rival factions in the country.