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Lebanon: Skier shot near Syria border

A man skiing at Lebanon's Mount Hermon (Jabal al-Sheikh), near the border with Syria, was shot and wounded by Syrian border guards.

Lebanon skier shot syria 20120430Enlarge
The snow-covered Mount Hermon (Jabal al-Sheikh) which sits on the border between Lebanon, Syria and Israel is seen in the distance from the Kfardebian-Faraya ski resort, northeast of the Lebanese capital Beirut, on January 10, 2012. (PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

A man was shot and injured when a group of skiers in southeast Lebanon came under fire from across the border in Syria.

The incident took place Monday at Mount Hermon, also known as Jabal al-Sheikh, along Lebanon's border with Syria. The skiers were shot at by Syrian border guards using light machine guns, a security official told Agence France-Presse.

Three of the skiers were Lebanese and one was Swiss, Reuters reported.

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The injured man, identified by The Daily Star as Antoine Hajj, 40, from Lebanon, was taken to a hospital in nearby Rashaya with a gunshot wound in his shoulder.

Reuters said the Syrian soldiers fired on the skiers after mistaking them for smugglers.

“Once they came under fire from the Syrian army post, the skiers started screaming to them to hold fire,” a security source told Reuters.

According to AFP, it was the first cross-border shooting in that part of Lebanon, although Syrian soldiers have at other times opened fire across the border and entered Lebanon, saying they were targeting armed rebels and weapons smugglers.

The UN estimates that more than 9,000 people have been killed in violence across Syria since anti-regime protests erupted in March 2011.

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