BEIRUT (AP) — A gunman opened fire Friday at a mosque in eastern Lebanon, killing one person and wounding several others, the Lebanese army and state news agency said. The reason behind the shooting in the eastern town of Bar Elias was not immediately clear.
The Lebanese army issued a statement saying that the armed man opened fire at a group of people as they were leaving the mosque, killing one of them. It added that as troops tried to detain the gunman, he opened fire at the force whose members fired back and wounded him. The army said he was being held in a hospital.
The man killed was identified as Lebanese citizen Ali Shibli, a school teacher. The wounded are also Lebanese citizens, according to local media. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, a security official had said the victims were Syrians.
Lebanon is home to more than 1 million Syrian refugees and anti-Syrian sentiments have been on the rise since Lebanon’s economic meltdown began in October 2019. The decline is rooted in decades of corruption and mismanagement by the country’s ruling class. Three-quarters of the country’s 6 million people live in poverty.