Lebanon Honorary Consul in Benin Asaad al-Shaghouri Shot Dead en Route to Togo
Naharnet/The Lebanese honorary consul in Benin was shot dead by gunmen while on his way from the African country’s capital Cotonou to neighboring Togo, a statement released by the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
The ministry’s statement detailed on the incident: “On Wednesday evening, Lebanon’s honorary consul in the Republic of Benin Asaad al-Shaghouri was on his way from Cotonou to his house in Togo where he was scheduled to inaugurate a new business venture, a construction material company called La Roche.”“But when his vehicle stopped at the red traffic lights in the Bagida region, which connects Cotonou to Togo’s capital Lome, he was showered with random bullets fired from five cars that were following him,” it added.
Al-Shaghouri died on the spot after receiving several gunshots, while his driver was hit with bullets in the waist area, the statement added. “The incident resulted in huge material damage in the area,” it noted. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a probe was immediately launched in the matter, and that the consul’s brother Joseph al-Shaghouri was informed about all aspects of the incident.
The slain man’s brother considered robbery to be the main motive behind killing the consul, awaiting the final results of the probe. Meanwhile, Benin’s Interior Minister visited the scene of the crime on Thursday and appointed a commandant to follow-up on the investigation.
“The body of the Lebanese consul will arrive on Friday evening at the Beirut international airport, and the ministry will take care of the funeral’s arrangements,” the statement said.
Following the incident, Lebanese expats who reside in Lome held sit-ins in front of their businesses to deplore Shaghouri’s assassination.