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The New Arab

Lebanese soldier charged with murder after protester killing

Abou Fakhr was buried last week [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 November, 2019

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An army colonel who was at the scene has also been charged.
An off-duty Lebanese soldier accused of shooting dead a protester in Beirut has been charged with murder, state news reported on Thursday.

Alaa Abou Fakhr was allegedly killed after a soldier tried clearing a road on 12 November, which had been blocked by protesters.

Abou Fakhr, a 38-year old father, was affiliated with the Progressive Socialist Party but had reportedly grown disillusioned with the country's leadership.

While his was the second death reported in nearly a month of unprecedented anti-corruption protests that have erupted across Lebanon, the manner in which he was killed without provocation have marked him as "the first martyr" of the revolution. 

Hundreds of people turned out for Abou Fakhr's funeral, in his hometown of Choeifat.

Lebanon's National News Agency said that a colonel who was at the scene with the soldier when Abu Fakhr was shot dead was also charged on Thursday.

Protests against Lebanon's ruling elite erupted on 17 October, as anger over poor services, inept government and corruption spilled onto the streets.

The soldier, who has been under detention since the day of the shooting, and the colonel, were referred to a military investigative judge to be questioned this week in relation to the killing.

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