News, Culture & Society

Mother is shot dead by her four-year-old son

  • The mother is thought to have died from a single bullet fired by her infant son
  • Incidents such as these are not uncommon in Lebanon with its lax gun control
  • There are an estimated 2million unregistered firearms in circulation in Lebanon 

A woman in southern Lebanon was killed today by a single bullet accidentally fired by her four-year-old son.

Lebanon’s national news agency reported the tragic death of the mother but gave few details about the shooting, which is not considered out of the ordinary in Lebanon, a country which has no effective gun control laws and which has an estimated two million unregistered firearms in circulation following a 15-year civil war which ended in 1990.

Handgun incidents here are common and sometimes often don’t make the news.

A woman in southern Lebanon was killed today by a single bullet accidentally fired by her four-year-old son (file photo)

The incident in the southern Lebanese town of Kafra came two days after a similar incident on Friday when an 11-year-old boy accidentally shot an eight-year-old boy in another town in southern Lebanon, according to Lebanon’s national news agency, reports, according to Sky News Arabia.

In Lebanon there is no strict application of laws over handguns, with no specific laws which punish those who own them illegally and only token rules which could be applied to those who actually carry them. 

Typically those who do carry them are often protected from prosecution by their political contacts or in some cases militia groups, which operate outside of the law anyway.

A new army chief who has taken office has not agreed to sign off hundreds of gun permits for those who originally did have them – granted to them by politicians as favours or for them to be used to protect them, or just as accessories for the rich. 

The preferred pistol by far is the Glock 19 which can be bought on the black market here for around £3,000.

Stray bullets often cause deaths and injuries when shooting in the air during celebrations, funerals, weddings and political gatherings, although political leaders have managed to curtail the number of in air shootings recently, following a number of stray bullets killing people watching rallies.