Two Phalange party members killed in Lebanon
Two members of Lebanon's Christian Phalange party have been killed and three injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire on the party's headquarters in eastern Lebanon, the police have said.
According to the police, automatic-weapons fire from a speeding car was directed at the Phalange party headquarters in Zahle, as the group was inaugurating their new office Sunday evening.
A witness said that a son of Lebanese former president Amin Gemayel, head of the Phalange party, had just left the headquarters after the inauguration.
Gemayel's oldest son, Pierre, a minister and member of parliament, was killed in car bombing Nov 21, 2006.
A statement by the Phalange party identified the slain Phalange members as Nasri Marouni and Salim Assi.
Amin Gemayel immediately summoned members of the Phalange party's politburo to his mansion in Bekfaya, east of Beirut, to discuss the deadly shooting, according to the statement. He called for calm and urged the government and its security authorities to bring the assailants to justice without delay.
"The criminal is known. We demand that the government and the security forces put their hands on the criminals as soon as possible," Gemayel said.
Shortly after the shooting, police and army soldiers cordoned off the area to prevent any escalation of tensions.