In the Lebanon, bloody reprisals are reported to have taken place following the assassination on Wednesday (16 March) of Left-wing leader Kamal Jumblatt.
In the Lebanon, bloody reprisals are reported to have taken place following the assassination on Wednesday (16 March) of Left-wing leader Kamal Jumblatt. More than 150 people had dies by Thursday night (18 March), according to sources quoted by Reuters. In the mountain village or Barouk 40 people were reported killed as members of the Muslim Druze community, which has led by Mr. Jumblatt, attacked their Christian neighbours. At least ten people died in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, where the Arab League peace-keeping force has been placed on red alert. Mr. Jumblatt's funeral took place on Thursday in his native village of Mukhtara, south east of Beirut.
SYNOPSIS: The hearse carried three coffins -- the other two for Kamal Jumblatt's dead driver and bodyguard. The dead leader's only son, Mr. Walid Jumblatt, welcomed mourners as thousands of supporter flocked to the village when they heard about the assassination. Mr. Walid Jumblatt spoke about his hop that calm could be maintained:
The fallen leader's body had earlier lain in state in the courtyard of the family home, flanked by those of his driver and bodyguard, who were killed with him in Wednesday's ambush. Many of the mourners were hysterical with grief and touched the bodies lying in front of them.
A general strike called by Leftists to honour Mr. Jumblatt was widely observed and in some districts tyres were set alight as a tribute. As the coffin moved to the cemetery, armed Jumblatt supporters fired a final salute.
Mr, Jumblatt's death leaves a gaping void in the Lebanese Left. He led the Progressive Socialist Party, which he founded, and a coalition of other Leftist groups.
Thousands of mourners waited hours in the pouring rain to see the coffin as it was carried to a simple grave in the ancient family cemetery. For Kamal Jumblatt the fighting was over -- but the repercussions of his death are yet to be felt in full.