3 arrested after scared Lebanese boy dies after seeing horror scenes filmed for TikTok

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Three suspects have been detained over their purported responsibility for the death of a Lebanese boy who suffered a heart attack when he saw horror scenes being filmed for TikTok.

Mohamed Haydar Istanbuli, 6, was reported to have been playing in his neighborhood in Lebanon’s coastal city of Tyre near the Roman ruins when he saw two girls dressed in black and carrying swords while running.

It is believed that the scene scared Istanbuli when he saw them with their heads covered while running in a sequence they were believed to be filming for future use on TikTok.

The boy had a heart attack and died.

A Lebanese Security Forces officer said on condition of anonymity that two girls under 18 and a man, who was flying a filming drone, had been arrested on Tuesday pending further investigation by prosecutors.

Cardiologist Dr. Afif Khafaja, who conducted Istanbuli’s autopsy, said that it was not easy to tell whether the boy had a precondition or any undiscovered birth deformity.

Khafaja added: “Practically speaking there must be causes for such cases of sudden heart seizures to happen.

“Definitely the boy must have been suffering from some precondition such as a birth abnormality or intermittent heartbeat or some medical condition in his aorta.”

The cardiologist said in the medical report that Istanbuli had died on May 12 due to a severe heart attack that led to a seizure followed by acute pulmonary congestion.

He added: “Usually such conditions happen in cases of stress for a child suffering an undiagnosed birth abnormality.

“Patients suffering from such conditions could be saved if an electrical shock (via a defibrillator) is applied to the heart to change the rhythm back to normal.”

The LSF officer said the boy’s father had lodged a criminal complaint against those he believed were responsible for his son’s death.

South Lebanon’s General Prosecutor Judge Diala Wansa kept the three suspects in custody pending further investigation.

Local media reported that two girls and two men — who work in videography — had not obtained permission from Lebanon’s Directorate General of Antiquities to film at Tyre’s Roman ruins.

The LSF officer said: “The fourth suspect failed to show up for investigation.”

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