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Mosque crowd mistakes thief for bomber

Feb. 1, 2014 at 12:23 PM

SIDON, Lebanon, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A crowd of people in Lebanon mistook a thief -- running from a shopkeeper toward a mosque -- for a suicide bomber, sparking momentary panic, police said.

Witnesses said they saw the man, identified only by his first name Elias, running toward a mosque in the city of Sidon Friday. He was being chased by a shopkeeper who was shouting at pedestrians to stop the man.

A crowd of people leaving a prayer service ran for cover after the mosque's security guard fired several shots in the air as a warning, the (Beirut) Daily Star reported.

The security guard eventually apprehended the suspect who did not have any explosives in his possession, police said.

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