Four suspects were arrested in connection with the murder of an elderly couple in their home in the Bint Jbeiltown of Ainata, a security source said Thursday.
The arrests took place Wednesday and Thursday, less than a day after the victims’ bodies were found.
The victims, identified as 88-year-old Lebanese national Ramez Darwish and his Syrian wife Ghazi Hosnou, were found by their eldest son after he noticed a stench emanating from their small house and no one answered the door.
The suspects, Syrian relatives of Hosnou, visited the married couple at their home for coffee and food, before allegedly killing the couple and fleeing with jewelry and nearly LL1.5 million in cash, the source said.
Other children of the victims will fly in to Lebanon to attend the funeral Friday. Investigations are ongoing to catch potential accomplices.
Initial investigations revealed that Darwish attempted to resist the intruders, who proceeded to beat him and his wife with sharp objects. It is reported that Hosnou died from suffocation.
Hezbollah MP Hasan Fadlallah, who represents Bint Jbeil, weighed in on the crime Wednesday, saying he had contacted the heads of security agencies in the south in order to speed up investigations.
“He stressed the need to wait for ... these investigations to reveal the details of the crime and to refrain from jumping to conclusions,” a statement from Hezbollah said.
Fadlallah added the matter should be “addressed in accordance with legal frameworks,” noting that the investigation was in the care of official security bodies.
Meanwhile, residents of the small town said they were both sad and angry at the deaths.
The municipality echoed Fadlallah’s statements.
“The municipality is shocked by such a terrible crime,” Abbas Khanafer, deputy mayor of the Ainata municipality, told The Daily Star, saying that such a crime was “unprecedented” in the area.
Regarding rumors circulating about the possible motives of the killers, Khanafer said, “we do not want to rush to conclusions.”
The victims’ close family members, who preferred not to be interviewed, urged security forces to investigate and to shed light on how the murders had happened, saying the crime had involved a robbery since gold, jewelry and other items were missing from the victims’ home.
A local resident told The Daily Star the victims were known to be in a comfortable financial situation, which could explain a motive for the robbery.
Concerned about potential violence against Syrian nationals due to the arrests of multiple Syrians in the investigation, the municipality urged residents to remain cautious and calm.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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