BEIRUT, Lebanon — A gunman went on a rampage in a mountain town in Lebanon on Tuesday, killing four Lebanese and five Syrians before fleeing into the surrounding wilderness, Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said.
The suspect was not immediately identified and his motive remained unclear.
Lebanon has a long history of civil violence and political assassinations, and many families keep guns in their homes, but mass shootings are rare.
In recent months, the country has been struggling with an economic crisis, mass protests against government corruption and a state-imposed lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
Lebanon has also taken in more than a million refugees who fled the civil war in neighboring Syria.
The shootings took place in Baakline, a town in the Chouf mountains southeast of Beirut, most of whose residents are from the Druze sect.
The town’s mayor, Abdullah al-Ghoseini, told Lebanese media that the shooting happened midafternoon in an area where Syrian laborers live.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab called the killing a “horrific crime” in a statement from his office.