A prominent Lebanese activist and publisher who was known for his public criticism of the militant group Hezbollah was found dead in his car on Thursday morning, according to the Associated Press.
Lokman Slim, 58, was a Shiite political activist and researcher. After being reported missing for hours since Wednesday evening, Slim's body was discovered in the passenger seat of his vehicle with multiple close-range gunshot wounds, the AP reported.
News of his killing has fostered concerns that political tension in Lebanon could boil over into a wave of new assassinations.
“He was carrying the weight of this country on his shoulder,” Slim's sister Rasha al-Ameer told AP. “Up until today in the history of Lebanon, all investigations have led to a dead end," she continued.
Slim's wife, Monika Borgmann, called for an international investigation into her husband's death, according to the wire service. “This killer has to be punished,” Borgmann said.
Al-Ameer accused Hezbollah of the killing, despite the group publicly condemning it and calling for an investigation.
In the days before he was attacked, Slim condemned Hezbollah supporters for allegedly threatening him at his home and accusing him of treason.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenBiden tries to tamp down tensions with Putin call Overnight Defense & National Security — Lawmakers clinch deal on defense bill Biden's 'Democracy Summit' meets the African paradox MORE denounced the killing, stating that it was “cowardly and unacceptable to resort to violence, threats, and intimidation as a means of subverting the rule of law or suppressing freedom of expression and civic activism,” according to AP.
He also called on Lebanese officials to move quickly to bring the killers to justice, AP reported.