Five persons killed in an attack on the hall of justice in Sidon
Lebanon, Local, 6/9/1999
Unidentified armed men opened fire on the hall of the criminal court in the Justice Palace in Sidon city, south Lebanon on Tuesday afternoon. Three judges were killed immediately.
The incident which resulted in the killing or wounding of ten persons, including the chairman of the court, the attorney general, judges and lawyers and citizens. Later, two more of those wounded died.
News reports from Sidon said that unidentified armed men opened fire on the hall of the court in the Justice Palace in Sidon while the full staff of the court was meeting to consider a case on "forging currency" in which the two accused are Muhammad al-Khatib and Mahmoud al-Kayed.
The attack with Klashinkov guns was conducted from outside the hall through the windows as the hall overlooks the outer streets near al-Najma square in the city's downtown.
Lebanese security forces chased the armed groups in the streets in Sidon and members of the Lebanese forces were deployed in the site of the incident.
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud asked the security systems to chase the criminals and arrest them and to bring them to trial. He stressed through telephone conversations with Lebanese Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Michel Murr, Minister of Justice Judge Joseph Shaoul, Attorney General and Judge Adnan Addoum that this crime "will not undermine the determination of the law, rather the law will continue its full measures to protect society from crime and corruption."
For his part, Lebanese Prime Minister Salim al-Hoss said "We greatly denounce this crime, and assert that justice will prevail and the criminal who committed the crime will have their due punishment."
Meanwhile, the higher judicial council in Lebanon has decided to suspend work in the palaces of justice in all Lebanese areas for three days as from today in mourning for the victims.
Shaoul, Addoum, and the government's commissioner at the military court, Nasri Lahoud, inspected the justice palace in Sidon, where the crime took place.
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