Riots in Lebanon after al Qaeda suspect dies in custody
After overnight riots, thousands of people in Lebanon staged a protest following the death in custody of a suspected Al-Qaeda activist arrested for alleged bomb plots against Western embassies.
Riots in Majdal Anjar, a town on the border with Syria, called for the resignation of Lebanon's Interior Minister Elias Murr and for an independent legal and medical investigation into the death of Ismail Mohammed al-Khatib.
Khatib, described by Lebanese authorities as Lebanon's top activist of al-Qaeda network, was among 10 people arrested last week over alleged plans to attack the Italian embassy in Beirut.
He died on Monday at the age of 31 after suffering what the Lebanese security services said was a "massive heart attack." A statement from the Beirut police department said Al Khatib, 31 suffered a heart attack in prison and was rushed to Dahr Al Basheq Hospital for treatment. But he passed away at midmorning Monday.
According to AFP, when news of his death reached his hometown of Majdal Anjar late on Monday, locals took to the streets, hurling stones and bottles at Lebanese border checkpoints.
On Tuesday, protestors, many carrying sticks and knives, shouted slogans against "the United States and its allies in Lebanon" who arrested Khatib. (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)