Lebanon News

Al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya official shot dead in suspected assassination in Shebaa

Women mourn during the funeral of Al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya official Mohammad Jirar in Shebaa, June 10, 2019. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

SIDON/BEIRUT: An Al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya official was shot and killed by a sniper in southern Lebanon Sunday night in what initial investigations have revealed may have been an assassination, security sources told The Daily Star.

Mohammad Jirar, who heads the group’s public relations department in the Marjayoun-Hasbaya district and also heads a medical center in Shebaa, was lured from his home in the town after receiving a phone call around 11 p.m. from someone claiming to want to donate to the medical center, the sources said. The caller then asked to meet Jirar by the center, located adjacent to his house.

Security footage seen by The Daily Star recorded shortly afterward shows Jirar waiting outside the center, before being shot by a sniper offscreen and falling to the ground.

Security forces and the Lebanese Army arrived at the scene quickly and launched an investigation into the incident.

Al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya, the Lebanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, announced Jirar’s death in a statement, commemorating his work providing social, health and medical services to the people of Marjayoun-Hasbaya, including thousands of Syrian refugees.

The Future Movement's office in Hasbaya and Arqoub and the Hamas Movement both condemned the attack in separate statements. The Future Movement called on security forces and the judiciary to ascertain the circumstances of the crime and arrest the attackers.

Jirar, a prominent activist in Shebaa, was outspoken in his opposition to the return of refugees to Syria before a political solution is reached to the yearslong conflict there.

 

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