Lebanese family grieves loss of promising son, stabbed to death in Manchester

Makki lived with his mother Deborah, 54, and 15-year-old brother Mazen - his father Ghaleb is thought to be in Lebanon. (Facebook)
Updated 06 March 2019
0

Lebanese family grieves loss of promising son, stabbed to death in Manchester

  • Youssef Makki, 17, who was a student at Manchester Grammar School when he was stabbed in the chest on Saturday night
  • Two unnamed 17-year-olds have been arrested and charged with his murder – it is thought they were known to the victim

DUBAI: The family of a Lebanese student, who was killed in the UK’s northern city of Manchester, said they were expecting him home for tea when they got the knock at the door from police  to tell them their son had been stabbed to death.

Youssef Makki, 17, who was a student at Manchester Grammar School when he was stabbed in the chest on Saturday night, British national daily The Telegraph reported.

Two unnamed 17-year-olds have been arrested and charged with his murder – it is thought they were known to the victim.

Now the victim’s family have released an emotional statement expressing their grief.

“Yousef was a loving and caring son and brother and he meant the world to his family,” the joint statement read.

“He was a sporty young man, a dedicated student and so bright. He had everything to look forward to.”

Makki lived with his mother Deborah, 54, and 15-year-old brother Mazen - his father Ghaleb is thought to be in Lebanon.

“We are absolutely devastated and cannot believe that our son has gone. This senseless loss has affected the whole community. Yousef had only phoned home hours earlier to say that he would be home for his tea, but the next knock at the door were officers with the tragic news, it is every parent’s worst nightmare,” the statement continued.

“We would appeal to anyone with information to contact the police and to help us find out what has happened on Saturday evening. Only recently had we talked about his promising life ahead of him and how he was looking forward to life. He was a promising student and loved by everyone,” the statement concluded.

Dr Martin Boulton, the High Master of the school, said Makki was a “young man of such promise,” and said: "It is impossible to make sense of such a senseless act.”

Makki was found conscious lying in the road after the attack by David Beckham’s former bodyguard, Paul Hughes.

“He had one stab wound to the chest. He was half lying in the road and he was conscious and one of my guys was talking to him. At first, he was responding to what my security officer was saying," Hughes said.

The UK is experiencing a significant increase in knife crime – there were 39 children and teenagers killed with knives in 2018 – there have been 10 so far in 2019.


Seoul: North Korea withdrew staff from liaison office

Updated 22 March 2019
0

Seoul: North Korea withdrew staff from liaison office

  • The second US-North Korea summit in Vietnam collapsed due to disputes over US-led sanctions on the North
  • The South Korean statement calls the North’s decision “regrettable”

SEOUL: North Korea abruptly withdrew its staff from an inter-Korean liaison office in the North on Friday, Seoul officials said.
The development will likely put a damper on ties between the Koreas and complicate global diplomacy on the North’s nuclear weapons program. Last month, the second US-North Korea summit in Vietnam collapsed due to disputes over US-led sanctions on the North.
Seoul’s Unification Ministry said that North Korea informed South Korea of its decision during a meeting at the liaison office at the North Korean border town of Kaesong on Friday.
The North said it “is pulling out with instructions from the superior authority,” according to a Unification Ministry statement. It didn’t say whether North Korea’s withdrawal of staff would be temporary or permanent.
According to the South Korean statement, the North added that it “will not mind the South remaining in the office” and that it would notify the South about practical matters later. Seoul’s Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung told reporters that South Korea plans to continue to staff the Kaesong liaison office normally and that it expects the North will continue to allow the South Koreans to commute to the office. He said Seoul plans to staff the office with 25 people on Saturday and Sunday.
The South Korean statement calls the North’s decision “regrettable.” It said South Korea urges the North to return its staff to the liaison office soon.
The liaison office opened last September as part of a flurry of reconciliation steps. It is the first such Korean office since the peninsula was split into a US-backed, capitalistic South and a Soviet-supported, socialist North in 1945. The Koreas had previously used telephone and fax-like communication channels that were often shut down in times of high tension.
The town is where the Korea’s now-stalled jointly run factory complex was located. It combined South Korean initiatives, capital and technology with North Korea’s cheap labor. Both Koreas want the US to allow sanctions exemptions to allow the reopening of the factory park, which provided the North with much-needed foreign currency.