Lebanon News

Girl wounded in New Year’s Eve gunfire calls for justice

Hala al-Hajj Ali, right, sits with members of her family in Tyre. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

TYRE, Lebanon: A 10-year-old girl who was injured by a stray bullet from celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve has called on authorities to crack down on the practice.

“The shooting must stop, as it nearly killed and buried me,” Hala al-Hajj Ali told The Daily Star.

“The police must hold [those responsible] to account and arrest them,” she said.

Hajj Ali was rushed to hospital Monday night after a stray bullet pierced her neck in Maashouk, near the southern city of Tyre.

Doctors were able to remove the bullet and stop the bleeding before sending Hajj Ali home to her family.

After Hajj Ali left the hospital, she tried to play with her brothers as normal, but burst into tears whenever she remembered the moment of her injury - she said she will never forget the sight of her blood.

Hajj Ali had come to Lebanon from Syria with her family three years ago as refugees. Her father, Mohammad al-Hajj Ali, is an agricultural worker.

“I can’t believe my daughter came home injured on New Year’s Eve, when people were celebrating the arrival of a new year,” Mohammad Hajj Ali said.

He asked that the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees provide support and assistance to his family in the wake of his daughter’s hospital visit, complaining that no one from the UNHCR had come to visit his daughter after her injury.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 03, 2019, on page 3.

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