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Gun Fight Rock Beirut Following Hezbollah’s Protest Against Blast Probe

Beirut — Tensions over a judicial inquiry Last year’s devastating Beirut harbor explosion He was involved in street clashes and shootouts in the Lebanese capital after a demonstration by the dominant Hezbollah faction aimed at resisting senior judges’ efforts to hold officials accountable.

Lebanese troops, who sent troops to the streets to put down the fighting, said unidentified armed groups had fired at protesters heading for protests.

“The army is deployed and fires at those who are armed and shooting from the streets and elsewhere,” he said in a statement shared on Twitter. It also called on civilians to clear the streets.

Hezbollah also said in a statement that snipers had fired at their supporters. People in the pro-Hezbollah crowd were seen returning fire to the shooters.

“The shooting was aimed at the head,” Hezbollah said.

Lebanese security forces in Beirut on Thursday. The military urged civilians to clear the streets.


Photo:

Hussein Mara / Associated Press

Combat weakened early Thursday afternoon after military intervention.


Photo:

Hussein Mara / Associated Press

According to a Lebanese Red Cross spokesman, the clash killed six people and injured 30.

Hezbollah accused supporters of firing by a right-wing Christian group called the Lebanese Forces and called on security forces to arrest the perpetrators. Hezbollah’s longtime rival, the Lebanese Forces, has demanded the disarmament of Muslim factions.

“Hezbollah is letting people choose between the civil war and the dismissal of judge Tarek Bitar,” said Charles Jabourg, a Lebanese military media source. He denied accusations that his group was involved in the fighting. “What happened was that after Hezbollah supporters attacked the area, locals in the neighborhood counterattacked.”

The fighting began late Thursday morning and continued almost unabated until early afternoon after military intervention. According to the Lebanese Red Cross, civilians evacuated their homes after the clash boiled. Live footage from the collision area depicts women and children crying as they flee their homes, and parents must witness what they experienced more than 20 years ago. Shouted that.

People in the pro-Hezbollah crowd were seen returning fire to the shooters. A man preparing to launch a rocket-propelled grenade.


Photo:

AZIZ TAHER / REUTERS

The sounds of shootings and explosions in the city are reminiscent of the 15-year civil war in a country that divided Beirut into areas dominated by warlords along sectarian boundaries. The war ended in 1990, but the battle on Thursday fought along the fault line that divided the city 21 years ago.

Hezbollah has accused Tarek Bitar, the judge responsible for the Beirut explosion, to politicize the investigation and focus on the group’s allies within the government. “This is a political target and has nothing to do with justice and truth,” Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrara said in a speech aired earlier this week.

More than 200 people were killed in an explosion at the port of Beirut last year. The explosion also injured about 7,000 people and devastated some of Lebanon’s capital’s most vibrant residential and commercial areas. Many of the suffering areas have not yet recovered..

The explosion hastened the collapse of Lebanon’s economy. Almost a year after the blast, Simultaneous economic and financial crises Made Lebanon’s economy one of the worst in the world.

Hezbollah said in a statement that the sniper had fired at its supporters.


Photo:

anwar amro / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

Lebanese soldiers patrol after a shooting in Beirut.


Photo:

MOHAMED AZAKIR / REUTERS

According to the World Bank, Lebanon may have fallen into one of the three worst economic crises in the world in the last 150 years. The economic collapse exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic has driven millions into poverty.

Bitter is seen by many in Lebanon and the families of blast victims as the only opportunity for accountability.

“We have confidence and trust this judge. We support him and reject everything that is said about him in speeches and party media,” said the three-year-old. Said Paul Nagia, whose daughter was killed in an explosion.

“Seeing such a reaction from the ruling mafia is an argument in support of the judge’s ability,” he said.

A large crowd gathered at the port of Beirut to commemorate the anniversary of the explosion, which killed more than 200 people. A group of protesters clashed with police in the midst of an economic collapse that caused widespread food shortages.Photo: Patrick Buzz / AFP / Getty Images

The investigation of the harbor explosion is one of the few times the Lebanese political elite has been scrutinized for their actions. Many people in the country accuse them of being incompetent, corrupt, and negligent. Poor governance has destroyed the economy And it contributed to the management mistake at the port that led to the explosion last year.

“The results of Vital’s investigation are not just justice in the case of the Beirut bombing, but a country where Lebanon can literally escape murder, or the rule of law for everyone,” said a Lebanese researcher at Human Rights Watch. Aya Majizbu said.

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Gun Fight Rock Beirut Following Hezbollah’s Protest Against Blast Probe

Source link Gun Fight Rock Beirut Following Hezbollah’s Protest Against Blast Probe

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