Armed clashes erupted on Thursday during a demonstration at Beirut by the militant group Hezbollah and its allies against senior judge investigating last year's massive explosion in the port of the city. Five people were killed and 16 were injured, said the Lebanese Minister of the Interior.
The Minister of the Interior, Bassam Mawlawi, said many victims were shot dead by snipers from buildings.
"This is a very dangerous sign," Mawlawi told reporters. "No one can accept this.
The firefight involving snipers, pistols, Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenades have been a serious escalation of tension on the world. national investigation, and the worst armed clashes since 2008, when Shiite Hezbollah briefly invaded someties from Beirut.
It was not immediately clear how the clashes on Thursday started. The Hezbollah group and its Shiite allies in the Amal militia had called for demonstrations near the courthouse, along a former civil war frontline between Shia Muslim and Christian areas.
Supporters of a Shiite group allied with Hezbollah come to the aid of a comrade injured during the attack. armed clashes that erupted during a demonstration in the southern Beirut suburbs in Dahiyeh, Lebanon on Thursday, October 14, 2021. OIt is not immediately clear what triggered the gunfire, but tensions were high along a former civil war front line between Shia Muslim and Christian areas. (AP Photo / Hassan Ammar) (AP Photo / Hassan Ammar)
TAWAN FIRE LEAVES LESS 45 DEAD, DOZENS INJURED
In a statement Thursday, the two groups said their protesters had been targeted by snipers deployed on rooftops in the Tayouneh region.
Shots echoed in the capital for several hours and ambulances, screaming sirens, rushed to pick up the wounded. Snipers shot from buildings. Bullets penetrated the windows of apartments in the neighborhood. Four of the projectiles fell near a French private schoolComfortable, Brothers of Furn el Chebbak, causing panic, said a security official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the press.
The students crowded into the central hallways with the windows open to avoid a major impact, in scenes reminiscent of the 1975-90 civil war. Smoke covered the neighborhood where intense gunfire was incessant. A car caught on fire, while a fire was reported in a lower floor where residents were stranded and called for help.
The violence unfolded for US The Under Secretary of State for Business politicians, Victoria Nuland was in town to meet with Lebanese officials. His schedule was slightly disrupted by the action in the streets.
Demands for Bitar 's impeachment and calls for a protest have blown up.upset many people.
Right-wing Lebanese Christian Forces mobilized supporters Wednesday evening after Hezbollah and Amal called for demonstrations at the Palace of Justice, located in a Christian quarter. Videos circulating on social media showed supporters of the Lebanese Christian Forces marching through the streets carrying large crosses.
An Associated Press reporter saw a man opening fire with a pistol during the demonstration, as well as armed men shooting at demonstrators from the balcony of a building. Several men immediately fell to the gunfire and bled on the tarmac. The army deployed massively and sent patrols to the area to search for the armed men, following an exchange of gunfire between the Muslim and Christian parts of the capital.
An army soldier stands on a vehicle as a Shia Hezbollah supporter flashes the sign of victory during armed clashes that erupted during a protest in the southern suburbs of Beirut in Dahiyeh, Lebanon on Thursday, October 14, 2021. Armed clashes erupted in Beirut on Thursday during a protest against the lead judge investigating last year's massive explosion in the city's port , as tensions over the national inquiry boiled over. (AP Photo / Bilal Hussein) (AP Photo / Bilal Hussein)
NORWAY A SUSPECT IN L ' BOW AND ARROW THAT KILLED 5 WAS MARKED FOR RADICALIZATION
A staff member of the emergency room at al-Sahel hospital said they received bodies and 15 people who were injured. One of the dead, a woman, was shot in the head. Two of the 15 injured were in critical condition.
In a statement, Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for calm and urged people to "not be drawn into civil war ".
The probe focuses on hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrates that had been improperly stored in a port warehouse that exploded on August 4, 2020, killing at least 215 people, injuring thousands and destroying parts of neighboring neighborhoods. This was one of the most great non-nuclear explosions in history and has further devastated the country already shaken by
Bitar, the second judge to head the complicated investigation, has faced formidable opposition from the powerful Lebanese group Hezbollah and its allies who accuse him of choosing politicians to interview them, most of them allies of Hezbollah.
None of the Hezbollah officials have so far been indicted in the 14-month-old investigation.
The shooting continued even after army troops deployed to the area on Thursday, with rumors of exchanges shots over their heads. Residents and civilians in the area leaned down to avoid the fire, some shouting, "Martyrs on the ground!" People pulled a man who was apparently shot away from the line of fire. Others removed another body.
In some videos circulating online, men were arguing: "Shiite Shiites " in the streets, sothat residents were fleeing from guns. re.
Haneen Chemaly, a resident of Furn el-Chebbak and mother of a 6-month-old girl, said she first moved down the hall before run to the shelter because the gunfire was terrifying from her 10th floor apartment.
"I did this for my child " she said . "I don't know what's going on. I can just hear the sound of gunshots.