BEIRUT — A 7-year-old girl passed away Saturday after spending weeks in hospital in critical condition after being hit by a stray bullet while on the playground of the Sisters of the Holy Hearts school in Hadath, south of Beirut, a relative confirmed to L'Orient-Le Jour.
The child was hit during celebratory gunfire by unidentified individuals nearby to celebrate the publication of the official Lebanese baccalaureate results.
The head of the municipality of Hadath told L'Orient-Le Jour at the time that the bullet had penetrated her skull and lodged in the back of her neck. "This situation is becoming more and more trying. Every day, we are confronted with shootings to celebrate moments of joy, of sorrow, and families settling their differences by shooting at each other! It's too much!" he said.
Shooting into the air to mark various events is common in Lebanon. Every year, several incidents involving stray bullets are recorded in the country, where weapons are poorly regulated.
In a message posted on X (formerly Twitter), MP Adib Abdelmassih, who is close to Zgharta MP Michel Moawad, announced that on Wednesday he will present a bill to increase the penalties for shooting in the air "on all occasions," as well as to criminalize "the owners of property from which this type of gunfire originates, if the shooters are not brought to justice."
In April, a stray bullet wounded a young girl in Kfarshima, Mount Lebanon, as she took part in Palm Sunday celebrations.