Lebanese Police Arrests 34 New Year ‘Celebratory’ Shooters

A total of 34 people who shot “celebratory” gunfire on New Year’s Eve were arrested, the Internal Security Forces said in a statement Sunday.

The ISF said they had arrested 34 individuals for firing arms in the air on New Year’s Eve, as documented on video and in pictures widely shared on social media.

The names, nationalities and ages of those arrested were published by the ISF, in addition to the areas were they were arrested.

The first three people arrested included two men, one in Beirut’s southern suburb, the other in Tyre and a woman in Akkar were arrested for firing guns on New Year’s Eve and one of them fired a military weapon into the air in an open air area of the Beirut Rafiki Hariri International Airport, the ISF said.

A Middle East Airlines plane was reported to be hit by a stray bullet Friday.

A number of injuries were reported in different parts of Lebanon during the first hours of 2021 as a result of this irresponsible act. According to local media a woman died in hospital after she was wounded by stray bullets in Baalbeck Friday.

In Lebanon it is a “tradition” for some people to fire gunshots into the air to welcome the New Year and mark other occasions such as weddings and funerals. However, it is condemned by a large portion of the population and despite awareness campaigns and warnings, the “tradition” has still prevailed and has caused pain to many families and resulted in the death of many innocent people.

The ISF called on all those who have information, pictures or videos on people who shot fire into the air early Friday to submit them via their website or social media and stressed that their mission to arrest more people who carried out this irresponsible act will continue.

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