Sarkozy Departure Marred by Tragedy

Ad Feedback - TEL AVIV, Israel - A tragedy marred the departure of French President Nicholas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Tuesday, when an on-duty Border Guard deployed at the perimeter of the farewell ceremony died from a gunshot wound and fall.

When the shot was fired, body guards rushed in to protect Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres, while Sarkozy's body guards hurried the president and his wife into the waiting aircraft.

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The officer was identified as 32-year-old Raid Assad Ghanan, from the Druze village of Beit Jan.

While the media reported the incident as an apparent suicide, Ghanan's family refused to believe the idea.

"We scornfully reject the claims that our son took his own life," one family member said. "He was a kindhearted and happy person, and there was no reason for him to do such a horrible thing," he said.

Asaad Ghanan, the officer's father, said his son was in a good frame of mind when he left home that morning.

"He had a family, he had friends, he had plans for the future and no reason to commit suicide," his father said.

The victim's brother, Naif, said police were investigating the incident.

"It is unthinkable that my brother took his own life," he said. "We believe this was an accident or even an incident in which my brother was accidentally shot by one of the security officials in the area," he said.

The victim's cousin, Mouin Ghanan, said he had been an exemplary student and officer all his life.

"He excelled in everything, starting at school, through his military service in the [elite] Givati Brigade and later continued to serve the State when he joined the Border Guard," he said.

Ghahan is survived by his wife and two children.

Source: YNet news

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