BEIRUT (AP) — A Muslim cleric who went lacking earlier this week was killed by individuals from his northern hometown with whom he had been at odds with for greater than a decade, safety officers mentioned Saturday.
Sheikh Ahmad Rifai, a Sunni cleric, was final seen within the northern metropolis of Tripoli Monday night and his automobile was discovered days later in a village a couple of kilometers south of the town. His household mentioned they misplaced contact with him Monday evening after they tried to name him and located that his cellphone was turned off.
Rifai was the imam of the primary mosque within the northern city of Qarqaf within the impoverished northern Akkar area and was recognized for his fiery speeches through which he used to blast the Iran-backed Hezbollah.
There have been issues that Rifai’s case would incite sectarian tensions within the deeply-divided nation since he was a harsh critic of the highly effective Shiite group Hezbollah in addition to the Syrian authorities and Iran.
It turned out Rifai was killed by individuals from his hometown, together with some relations, with whom he had been at odds with since 2012, the officers mentioned on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk to the media. They mentioned that years in the past some residents and the cleric accused one in all Rifai’s relations who was Qarqaf’s mayor of corruption.
The killing got here at a time when Lebanon has been with out a head of state because the time period of President Michel Aoun resulted in late October with no president elected. Lebanon is at present run by a caretaker authorities because the nation sinks in its worst financial disaster in its fashionable historical past that began in October 2019.