BEIRUT: Two people were killed and a further three injured in a fight between a Syrian-Lebanese man and Armenian Lebanese residents of Burj Hammoud in Metn Friday that included a Lebanese Army officer, multiple sources told The Daily Star. A security source confirmed to The Daily Star the numbers of killed and wounded, while an Army source said that the issue was under investigation and that he could not yet divulge details.
The state-run National News Agency reported that several people had been injured.
A large security presence took over streets in the area Friday night as the Army and the Internal Security Forces worked to secure the area and prevent the outbreak of further clashes.
Metn MP Hagop Pakradounian told The Daily Star Friday’s deadly fight was just the latest in a series of violent incidents in the area, at least one of which had involved the same Syrian-Lebanese man, who he said was originally Kurdish.
According to Pakradounian, the Syrian-Lebanese man had begun cursing Armenians and the Armenian Tashnag party that is prominent locally – and to which Pakradounian belongs – while sitting on his balcony Friday evening. Burj Hammoud is an area populated largely by Lebanese Armenians.
Following the Syrian-Lebanese man’s verbal attacks on the locals, a number of them went up to his apartment to intervene.
“He pulled out a knife,” attacking the group of men and killing one, while injuring several others, including the reportedly off-duty Army officer.
“Then he [the Syrian-Lebanese man] got what he deserved,” Pakradounian said.
Local news website LBCI reported that one of the Lebanese Armenian men – whom multiple outlets reported to be 50 years old, but who the NNA said was 70 – died as a result of a knife injury, while the Syrian-Lebanese man died as the result of a bullet wound.
“We ask locals not to retaliate for what happened, and we have contacted all the relevant persons and security agencies,” MP Pakradounian said.