Funeral held for two Lebanese youths found slain

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Lebanese mourners held a funeral on Friday for two Sunni Muslims slain this week in an attack linked to sectarian tensions.

The two Lebanese youths were abducted on Monday, and their bodies were later found on the field on Thursday. Ziad Qabalan, age 25, and Ziad Ghandour, age 12, were kidnapped and shot in the head and their bodies. Police found the two lying dead in a field in Jadra, an area between south Beirut and Sidon on Thursday evening.

Qabalan had been a member, along with Ghandour's father, of the pro-government Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), led by the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. It is suspected that Shi'a Muslims abducted the boys in revenge of the killing of Adnan Shamas, a Shi'a Muslim, back on January 25 of this year, during clashes between supporters of the government, which has Sunni backing, and the opposition, which includes Lebanon's main Shi'a groups.

The Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, condemned the assassination and asked for calm. In a telephone interview with the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) he said,

This act aims at dragging the Lebanese toward civil strife. We are in need of calm, patience and discipline.