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Lebanon New Year celebratory gunfire damages parked aircrafts at Beirut airport Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Lebanon New Year celebratory gunfire damages parked aircrafts at Beirut airport

One of the airplanes damaged by stray bullets [Twitter]

Date of publication: 1 January, 2021

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Three airplanes were damaged as Lebanese revellers celebrated the arrival of 2021.
Celebratory gunshots marking the New Year damaged three parked aeroplanes at Beirut airport, local media reported on Friday, following earlier reports that stray bullets also killed a Syrian woman in east of the country.

"It's not the first time planes have been hit by stray bullets," said the head of Lebanon's national carrier Middle East Airlines.

"Dozens of planes have been exposed to stray bullets over the years," Mohammed al-Hout told Future Web, calling the shooting "mindless".

The damages come despite warnings from officials in the run-up to New Year's Eve.

Stray bullets from celebratory gunfire are a source of constant worry across the country, but Lebanese authorities have struggled to stamp out the often deadly tradition.

Earlier on Friday, state media reported that a Syrian refugee had died in the eastern town of Baalbek "after being wounded in the head by a stray bullet".

Officially, celebratory gunfire is illegal in Lebanon, where firearm ownership remains widespread three decades after the end of its 1975-1990 civil war.

In September, Lebanese football player Mohamed Atwi died after being injured the previous month by a stray bullet.

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