INTRODUCTION: The spiritual leader of the Greek Catholic Church in the Middle East, Monsignor Maximos Hakim, is recovering in hospital after being wounded slightly in an ambush in Lebanon.
SV Police around bullet-riddled car ZOOM OUT TO passing traffic
CU INTERIOR Victim's car. Police inspecting car
CU PAN FROM Rear seat of car TO three bullet holes in rear windscreen PAN TO soldier controlling traffic (2 shots)
CU Catholic nuns waiting in hospital with other well wishers
CU Hakim in hospital bed speaking with reporter in Arabic
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The spiritual leader of the Greek Catholic Church in the Middle East, Monsignor Maximos Hakim, is recovering in hospital after being wounded slightly in an ambush in Lebanon. Seventy-two year old Monsignor Hakim was hurt when his car came under fire on a mountain road east of Beirut on Thursday (19 February). He was not seriously injured but was suffering from shock.
SYNOPSIS: The attack took place at a crossroads on the main road between Beirut and Damascus. Monsignor Hakim was on his way to the Syrian capital with a senior aide, a nun and a driver. The Patriarch's car came under heavy sniper fire near the town of Bhamdoun, a known stronghold for left wing Lebanese and Palestinian groups. The car was riddled with bullets, showering the four occupants with shattered glass.
Well wishers gathered at a clinic where Monsignor Hakim was treated after the shooting. He was later transferred to a hospital in Beirut for observation.
Speaking from his hospital bed, the Patriarch said he had no idea who could want to hurt him, but whoever the gunmen were, he forgave them. Monsignor Hakim has been Patriarch of the whole Orient since 1967. He leads a following in Lebanon alone of more than 385 thousand. No one has claimed responsibility for the ambush and Lebanese police have been unable to establish a motive for the shooting.