| 22.01,12. 12:41 AM |
Syrian Forces Kill Lebanese Fisherman, Wound Another
A 14-year-old Lebanese boy was shot and fatally wounded after gunmen opened fire on a fishing boat on the maritime border with Syria on Saturday, his father and a local official told Agence Francce Presse.
"My wife crossed the border into Syria and has seen his body in the morgue of Bassel Assad hospital" in the coastal city of Tartus, said Ahmad Hamad of his son Maher.
He said the boy's uncle, Khaled Hamad was receiving treatment in the same hospital for gunshot wounds and another uncle, Fadi, was being held by Syrian intelligence in the city.
The three Lebanese were kidnapped when a Syrian fishing boat approached their vessel, opened fire at it, and then took it into Syrian territory, reported MTV.
It stated that there have been conflicting reports that a second of the captives was also killed.
Residents of the border town of al-Arida, where the fishermen come from, consequently blocked the international road leading to Syrian in protest over the kidnapping by burning tyres.
MTV added that all border-crossings in northern Lebanon leading to Syria have been closed.
A local official, Ali Assad Khaled, mayor of the town of al-Arida, said brothers Fadi and Khaled Hamad and Maher were seized from their boat off the coast of northern Lebanon.
"Gunmen on another boat opened fire on the three Lebanese before seizing them and taking them off to Syria," he told AFP, adding that the incident was witnessed by other fishermen who insisted it took place in Lebanese waters.
Tensions have been high in recent months along the Lebanese-Syrian border over anti-regime protests taking place in Syria.
The Syrian army had repeatedly infiltrated Lebanese border territories in search of dissidents.
On December 2, 2011, dozens of terrified families fled their homes in Wadi Khaled after shooting from the Syrian side of the border wounded two men and a woman.
In recent months, thousands of people have fled into Lebanon from border districts of Syria as troops have resorted to mounting violence to crush anti-regime protests raging in the neighboring country since March