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Lebanese man kills parents, sister in southern France

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A Lebanese man stabbed his parents and sister to death in the French town of Le Cannet over the weekend, the local police chief told The Daily Star Tuesday.

The man, who was identified as 31-year-old Bernard Bitar in French media reports, killed his family members in a premeditated attack in their apartment Sunday morning, Director of Municipal Police in Le Cannet Alain Cherqui said.

According to French daily Le Parisien, Bitar’s sister Bernadette was 21-years old, while his father George and mother Paula were 78 and 61, respectively.

“I do not regret my act, it was prepared, reflected upon and premeditated,” local daily Nice-Matin quoted Bitar as saying, according to information the newspaper had obtained.

Cherqui confirmed that the suspect had confessed to committing the crime.

Cherqui said that Bitar had killed his family members after suspecting a family conspiracy against him.

Bitar was detained by police on Sunday afternoon – with two steak knives in hand – after his cousin alerted authorities to the crime, Le Parisien reported. Bitar had told his cousin about the crime beforehand.

Bitar had worked at a local Lebanese restaurant named Al-Charq, or “the East,” and was well known among Le Cannet’s Lebanese community. The town has a population of about 45,000.

“The Lebanese here are a very close community of nice people,” Cherqui said.

The suspect has been placed in a psychiatric ward at the St. Michel Psychiatric Hospital in the nearby city of Nice, Cherqui added, saying a psychiatric assessment had determined he required hospitalization.

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