Lebanese minister survives shooting attack; 2 aides killed

Lebanon’s minister of refugee affairs has escaped an “assassination attempt” that killed two of his bodyguards.

Druze minister, Saleh al-Gharib, came under attack on Sunday when his convoy was making its way through the Mount Lebanon town near Aley, which is loyal to Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. Jumblatt’s Popular Progressive Party (PSP), however, has denied any involvement in the incident.

Two other people were injured in the attack, according to social media reports.

“What happened was an armed ambush and a clear assassination attempt,” Gharib told Lebanon’s al-Jadeed TV.

“There appears to be a decision to blow up the situation on the Mountain (a reference to the mountainous Chouf District, which is located southeast of the Lebanese capital),” said Gharib (pictured below).

Gharib is known to have close ties to pro-Syrian Druze leader Talal Arslan. He was attacked in an area near Aley, which is loyal to anti-Damascus Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.

The attack comes on the heels of tensions that were ignited by a visit by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil to the area earlier in the day. His visit caused led protesters to block roads (shown in the following video), prompting Bassil to call off the visit.

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