BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Middle East  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 23:22 GMT 00:22 UK
Beirut clerk goes on shooting spree
Jean-Claude Saadeh, left, whose wife died in the shooting, hugs his mother
Distraught relatives gathered outside the building
Eight people died and five were wounded after a gunman opened fire at an education ministry building in Beirut.

A man, named as Ahmad Mansour, has been identified as the assailant and reportedly charged with murder.


This is a catastrophe... I can't believe Ahmed would do something like this

Mona Khalil, Ahmed Mansour's wife
Mr Mansour worked as a clerk at the building where the incident occurred, which oversees payments to teachers at the university.

It appears he became angry when he was unable to pay back a loan of 18 million Lebanese pounds ($12,000) and was forced to sell his car, Education Minister Abdel Rahim Mrad said.

Colleagues dead

Mr Mansour, who had worked at the fund for at least 10 years, is said to have arrived at work with a suitcase containing a Kalashnikov and two pistols.

He then made his way through two offices, shooting colleagues - including the manager - as he went, witnesses said.

Balcony of the building where the shooting occurred
Mansour shot through windows at colleagues hiding on the balcony
Mr Mansour lived in the village of Loubieh, south Lebanon, with his wife and four children.

His wife, Mona Khalil, is reported to have broken down on hearing the news.

"This is a catastrophe... I can't believe Ahmed would do something like this," she said.

She said Mr Mansour was a diabetic and used tranquilisers.

Police arrived promptly at the scene, where they arrested Mr Mansour - who reportedly lit a cigarette after carrying out the killings.

A dozen ambulances were also rushed to the scene, and distraught employees and relatives gathered outside the building to await news of friends and colleagues.

Burdened by debt

Among the dead was Rachel Saade, the fund's manager.

Her husband, Jean-Claude, wept as her body was taken away.

"Poor Rachel, they killed her," he said.

The BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut says such incidents are rare, despite Beirut's reputation as a city of violence.

But she adds that the city is burdened by a $30bn debt at present, and living conditions are difficult for many.

This may explain why Mr Mansour got so upset when his car was confiscated over his failure to pay back the money.

See also:

18 Mar 02 | Middle East
03 Oct 02 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes