Two people were killed in a violent confrontation between Hezbollah terror group members and residents of the Christian village al-Kahaleh, near Beirut on Wednesday evening, the Lebanese Armed Forces confirmed on Thursday.
According to the statement, the confrontation began after a truck belonging to Hezbollah that was carrying ammunition overturned on Highway 30, which connects Beirut to the Syrian capital of Damascus.
Hezbollah and the villagers accused each other of starting the confrontation during which one Hezbollah member and one villager were killed.
Hezbollah confirmed the vehicle belonged to their organization and accused “militias” of attacking the truck’s crew, claiming a man was wounded while “protecting the truck” and later died, according to Reuters.
The Iranian terror-proxy group also said an exchange of fire had taken place with “attacking gunmen,” but did not confirm if ammunition was, in fact, inside the truck.
According to TV network Alhurra, a forensic investigation revealed that Fadi al-Bajjani, a 64-year-old Christian resident of al-Kahaleh, was hit by multiple bullets.
His son Yousef told Reuters that he and his father had tried to get close to the truck after it flipped over.
“We were a meter away but couldn’t see what was inside the truck. At least three men started shooting at us – two with machine guns and one with a pistol. My dad fell to the ground but there was so much gunfire that we couldn’t get to him for three minutes.”
The Lebanese army closed off the area and transported the truckload to an army base for an investigation.
The Lebanese Christian population generally does not support the Shi’ite-Muslim Hezbollah organization.
Lebanon is in the midst of an intense and prolonged political crisis, which was further exposed by a series of killings in the Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon at the end of last month.
That fighting caused several Arab countries to issue travel warnings against visiting Lebanon, harming its already weak economy.
Since the last elections, Lebanon is still without a president. Hezbollah has reportedly been trying to take advantage of its critical role in securing a presidential election by requesting certain concessions.