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2 dead in shooting at Lebanon police station in Beirut

Lebanese riot police hold a position as they clash with demonstrators during a protest against the government's decision to raise taxes to cover a salary increase for teachers and other public servants, in Beirut,Lebanon on 19 March 2017 [STR/AFP/Getty Images]
Lebanese police in Beirut, Lebanon on 19 March 2017 [STR/AFP/Getty Images]

Two members of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (ISF) have died after sustaining injuries during a shooting at the Ouzai police station in Beirut yesterday.

Major Jalal Shreif, the head of the police station, died in hospital, while first adjutant Ziad Al-Attar succumbed to his injuries this morning, after the pair were allegedly shot by the brother of a detainee. A further policeman, Ali Amhaz, was wounded during the shooting.

Preliminary investigations stated that shooter Hassan Hussein entered the police station with his mother to visit his brother and was not carrying a weapon at the time.

According to local news channel Al Jadeed, an altercation broke out between Hussein, and his brother, during which Shreif, the station's commander, intervened. Hussein snatched Shreif's gun and shot him, then turned the gun on himself, taking his own life.

Of 32 detainees at the police station, 29 escaped during the chaos, including the shooter's brother, who was later captured by security forces. The army recaptured seven of the escaped inmates in Beirut after the altercation.

READ: Lebanon's government seeks vote of confidence amid violent protests

Shreif, who was Captain at the time of his death and was posthumously promoted, is the son of Brigadier General Ali Shreif, the army's deputy intelligence chief. Originally from Baalbek, in eastern Lebanon, Shreif leaves behind his wife and two children: Yana, 5, and Ali, 2.

ISF chief Major General Imad Othman, visited the police station yesterday and said in a statement to local media LBCI that the incident took place as a result of overcrowding in prisons and detention centres.

The incident took place on a day of violent clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters, as 63, of 84 MPs present, voted for confidence in the new government and its policy statement.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab tweeted that "the prestige of the state" had been targeted "once again", adding that "security are a red line".

Three members of army intelligence were shot dead when their convoy was ambushed in Hermel on Sunday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Zeina Akar Adra said that police will renew efforts to prevent these incidents "whether in Beirut or Hermel".

READ: 3 Lebanon soldiers killed in an ambush

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