Mystery surrounds murder of Hezbollah fighter

Mohammed Ali Younes was found shot dead in a car. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 April 2020

Mystery surrounds murder of Hezbollah fighter

  • The Iran-backed militant group blamed Israel for the death of Mohammed Ali Younes
  • Anti-Hezbollah website Janoubia News thinks otherwise, saying it was likely an "internal problem" that led to Younes' death

BEIRUT: Lebanon was rife with speculation on Sunday after a Hezbollah fighter was found shot dead in a car between two villages in the south of the country.

The Iran-backed militant group published an obituary of Mohammed Ali Younes describing him as a “martyr,” code for alleging that he was killed by Mossad agents from Israel.

An Iranian news agency also said Younes was responsible for “tracking collaborators with Israel, and spies.”

However, analysts told Arab News that Younes’s death was the latest fallout from the release of Amer Al-Fakhoury, an Israeli agent accused of torturing prisoners in the notorious Khiam detention center during the civil war.

Hezbollah has been severely criticized for approving Al-Fakhoury’s return last month from Lebanon to the US.

Anti-Hezbollah website Janoubia News said Younes “was working on a sensitive file with security implications.”

Website editor Ali Al-Amin, told Arab News: “Hezbollah described Younes as a martyr, which means that Mossad was behind his death, but those who know the area where he was killed know that it is open. No Israeli agent could have carried out an assassination and hide so easily.

“It doesn’t look as though Younes was a leading figure in Hezbollah, or that he was assigned a major mission. Most likely, this was an internal problem. That is why Mossad was accused. The party has resorted to that before, and it was found later that Mossad had nothing to do with it.”

Amin said the murder could be related to “clearing Hezbollah’s page following the criticisms leveled against it for its approval of Al-Fakhoury’s release.”

Kuwait vows to cut migrant population to 30%

Updated 27 min 14 sec ago

Kuwait vows to cut migrant population to 30%

DUBAI: The Kuwaiti government said it wants to cut the migrant proportion of its population from 70 to 30 percent to address what it called a population discrepancy. 
State media quoted the country’s prime minister saying that the state of Kuwait was facing a “big challenge” in its population structure and that it shall start relying on its citizens to replace foreign workers. 
Out of 4.8 million inhabitants, some 3.3 million are foreign nationals and 1.45 million are Kuwaitis, said Prime Minister Sabah Al-Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah.
"The ideal demographic situation would be that Kuwaitis make up 70 percent of the population and non-Kuwaitis 30 percent," he said.
"So we face a big challenge in the future which is to address the discrepancy in population."
He said there were 75,000 foreign domestic helpers in the country, which equal half the population of Kuwaiti nationals. 
“We rely on our sons and daughters to work in all professions,” Al-Sabah added.

Kuwait has a large foreign population mostly made up of Middle Eastern and Asian workers.

Kuwait Airways said last week it would lay off 1,500 expatriate employees due to "significant difficulties" caused by the pandemic.