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Middle East
Apology over Lebanon lynching death
Lebanon's justice minister has apologized for an angry mob that killed an Egyptian man accused of murder.
Last Modified: 05 May 2010 12:42 GMT
Muslem's lynching sparked outrage in Cairo, where he was buried last week [AFP]

Lebanon's justice minister has apologised for the lynching of an Egyptian man accused of a quadruple homicide.

Mohammed Muslem, who was accused of killing an elderly couple and their two granddaughters in Ketermaya, died after being attacked by a mob in the village south of Beirut.

Hundreds of Ketermaya residents attacked Muslem last week, while he was being driven by police to re-enact the crime.

He was beaten and stabbed to death, and his body was hung from a pole.

"I would like to personally apologise to the government and people of Egypt for the reaction in the village of Ketermaya, which would not have happened had it not been for the gruesome crime that preceded it," Ibrahim Najjar, Lebanon's justice minister, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Najjar delivered his statement standing next to Mohammed Abdul Hakam, one of Egypt's assistant foreign ministers.

The lynching created tensions between the two countries.

The Lebanese embassy in Cairo reportedly asked for extra protection after an anonymous caller threatened to avenge Muslem's murder, although the embassy later denied those reports.

Muslem was also suspected of raping a 13-year-old girl in Ketermaya earlier this year.

The attack was condemned by a number of Lebanese officials, including Michel Sleiman, the president, and Ziad Baroud, the interior minister.

Lebanon's police chief said that he has taken disciplinary measures against the officers who were escorting Muslem.

Source:
Agencies
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