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Dec 8, 2005

Businessman: gunmen wanted to kidnap me

Story PictureTonight a Burrell Boom resident continues to recover from gunshot injuries to his hand after a shootout at his home early Tuesday morning. But as News Five’s investigations reveal, this was not a robbery attempt gone bad, as a black cloth bag filled with duct tape, rope, a syringe with liquid inside, and a steel cutter recovered at the scene have led authorities and the victim to suspect that the gunmen intended to kidnap someone. According to sixty-seven year old Sarkis Abou-Nehra, between one and two on Tuesday morning, he was in bed when he awoke to the sound of someone trying to pry open his locked bedroom door. As he shook himself awake, Abou-Nehra says he heard loud bangs as if though someone was trying to break down the door. He cried out in confusion only to hear a voice from the other side of the wall say, “Police! Open up!” The homeowner says he got up, put on the light, picked up his licensed nine millimetre handgun, and opened the door. The corridor beyond the room was dark and though he could make out two shadows, immediately there was an exchange of gunfire which left Abou-Nehra suffering from a gunshot wound to his right hand. Bleeding, he hurriedly shut the door and waited as silence enveloped the house. But just when Abou-Nehra thought it was over, the gunmen returned to his room door and started shooting again, through the door. Abou-Nehra reloaded his weapon and started pulling the trigger, stopping only when he heard a scream from the hallway outside. Then came the sounds of the gunmen making a quick getaway. Abou-Nehra says he would have pursued the intruders, but his wife was hysterical and insisted they called the police. It was when the cops showed up that Abou-Nehra ventured into his house and found that the padlocks on the kitchen door had been cut, allowing entry to the home. Abou-Nehra has reported to authorities that he saw two shadows during the shootout, but this morning he told News Five that he believes there were five men involved in the incident. Following the attack, the property’s caretaker told his boss that prior to the shooting, a vehicle with five men inside was seen driving up and down on the road in front of the house and then stopped near the gate as if experiencing car trouble. Up to news time tonight no arrests had been made in connection to this incident and authorities would only say that investigations continue. Abou-Nehra serves as Honorary Consul for Lebanon and is the owner of Belize Foam and Furniture Limited on the Western Highway.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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