World news – Prominent Hezbollah critic shot dead, says the Lebanese security official


A prominent Lebanese publisher and vocal critic of the Shiite Hezbollah terror group was found dead in his car on Thursday morning and shot several times at close range.

Lokman Slim, a 58-year-old longtime Shiite political activist and researcher, was found in his car on a country road near the southern village of Addoussieh.

A local forensic coroner said Slim was shot in the chest, head and neck and immediately killed him. Blood splattered over the passenger seat of a rental car where his body had apparently fallen.

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A crime scene security officer said that Slim’s ID, phone and gun were missing. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with the regulations

A journalist, political analyst, and activist known as one of the leading Shiite voices criticizing Hezbollah, Slim has been regularly attacked in media loyal to the powerful group.

Slim, who was returning to Beirut from a visit to the south, has been missing for hours, security officials and his family said. A resident of Addoussieh said the car was found on the highway before midnight. He refused to give his name.

Slim’s wife Monika Borgmann and sister Rasha al-Ameer had previously posted on social media that Slim had not answered the phone for hours and had not been seen since Wednesday evening.

Al-Ameer said she learned of Slim’s death from messages when she filed a missing person’s form.

The circumstances of Slim’s death were not clear, and a security officer in Beirut said an investigation is underway to see what happened.

« He had a political stance, why else would he have been kidnapped, » Rasha al-Ameer told AFP.

Slim and his wife lived in the southern suburbs of Beirut, where they ran Umam Research and Productions, a research center and film production house. His family owns a publishing house, and Slim has hosted public debates, political forums, and art exhibitions.

« It’s a great tragedy, » said Makram Rabah, a close friend and history professor. “Anyone who knows Lokman knows who his enemies are.”

Rabah said he and Slim are strong opponents of Hezbollah’s takeover and are demanding sovereignty and diversity in Lebanon. Both were attacked by a group of young men during a public debate at the height of the anti-government protests in 2019. Slim then accused Hezbollah supporters of being behind the attack.

The activist also accused Hezbollah supporters of threatening him in his home, holding rallies and posting posters on the walls accusing him of treason.

The secular, intellectual and democracy-friendly activist had also made several documentaries with his wife Borgmann.

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