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Pharmacies temporarily close down in Lebanon after female pharmacist stabbed to death

Pharmaceutists are seen at a pharmacy in Beirut, Lebanon on July 06, 2021 [Hussam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]
Pharmaceutists are seen at a pharmacy in Beirut, Lebanon on July 06, 2021 [Hussam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]

A female pharmacist in Lebanon has been murdered and possibly raped, causing pharmacies across her town to temporarily close down in solidarity with her.

The owner of a pharmacy in the Mrouj village in Lebanon's Matn district, Leila Rizk, was found dead yesterday afternoon in her pharmacy lavatories. According to media reports, she was attacked with a knife by two unidentified men – reportedly of a foreign nationality – who intended to rob the pharmacy.

Speaking to the Lebanese newspaper L'Orient-Le Jour, the head of the village, Habib Dagher, said that "strangers, who probably intended to rob the pharmacy, entered it before killing the pharmacist". He clarified that "there is no information so far confirming a rape or how she was killed".

The murder of Rizk – who leaves behind two sons and a daughter, all university students – resonated throughout Lebanon, with politicians across the spectrum condemning it and calling for justice. The MP of Matn, Ibrahim Kanaan, urged on Twitter for "security and judicial bodies to reveal the identity of the criminals and punish them severely".

The outrage from the murder even caused pharmacies in the area to close down temporarily, with the President of the Union Order of Pharmacists, Joe Salloum, calling for the pharmacies to shut their doors today.

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