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Stray bullet wounds teenage soccer player in Beirut's southern suburbs

Veh Christ Harboyan's condition is stable; according to a security source, the shot was reportedly fired during a funeral.

Stray bullet wounds teenage soccer player in Beirut's southern suburbs

The player Veh Christ Harboyan. (Credit: Facebook/BFA photo)

BEIRUT — A young soccer player, Veh Christ Harboyan, was injured on Saturday by a stray bullet in a stadium in Bir Hassan, a neighborhood in the southern suburbs of Beirut, the Beirut Football Academy (BFA), of which the player is a member, said in a statement on its social networks.

The BFA added that Harboyan is "under surveillance in hospital" and that "his condition is stable."

Contacted by L'Orient-Le Jour, the BFA said that Harboyan is conscious, and that he is being treated at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. "He will remain under surveillance for three days, and then they will see how to operate on him to remove the bullet," explained the academy's source.

Read more:

Stray bullet hit MEA plane before landing at Beirut airport, Civil Aviation says

According to initial information from the investigation, the shot was fired during a funeral in the neighborhood of Ouzai, also south of Beirut, a security source told L'Orient-Le Jour. "The young man, aged about 12-13 years, was hit near the lungs," the same source added.

'Put an end to this problem'

In a post shared on Facebook, the BFA said, "Our thoughts are with the player and his family at this difficult time. The academy expresses gratitude to the medical staff and hospital," adding that the academy "hope[s] that one day we can end this problem in our country … an end to this senseless violence."

Shooting in the air, to mark various social events, is commonplace in Lebanon. In August 2020, a bullet, presumed to have been fired during the funeral of one of the victims of the deadly Aug. 4 explosion at the port of Beirut, hit Lebanese footballer Mohammad Atwe, who died a month later.

In late 2022, caretaker Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi issued a circular calling on the security forces and regional authorities in Beirut and Mount Lebanon to take "firm and repressive measures" to prevent celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve. In November, a plane belonging to the national carrier Middle East Airlines was hit by a stray bullet, which pierced its fuselage after it landed at Beirut International Airport.

Every year, an array of incidents involving stray bullets are recorded in Lebanon, where arms possession is poorly regulated.


BEIRUT — A young soccer player, Veh Christ Harboyan, was injured on Saturday by a stray bullet in a stadium in Bir Hassan, a neighborhood in the southern suburbs of Beirut, the Beirut Football Academy (BFA), of which the player is a member, said in a statement on its social networks.The BFA added that Harboyan is "under surveillance in hospital" and that "his condition is stable."Contacted by...