October 22, 2021

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The bloody clashes in Beirut provoke a civil war

Street fighting in Beirut on Thursday after gunfire erupted at a demonstration organized by Shia movements Hezbollah and Amal provoked armed men to violence, which killed six people and revived the civil war.

The clashes took place near the palace, where supporters of both movements gathered to demand the replacement of Judge Tarek Pita, who was in charge of the investigation into last year’s Beirut harbor bombing. Former ministers of Amal.

Abroad, France invited “Satisfaction“And in the United States”Expansion“Both countries insist”Freedom of justice“UN spokesman Stephen Dujarric calls”Stop provocative actions“And a request”Impartial investigation“In the explosion at the port.

After several hours of gun battles with light weapons and RPG rockets, people were frightened and calm returned by the end of the afternoon. She said in a brief statement “A gun battle broke out in the Dion Sector as protesters marched in front of the courthouse.“Very close. Home Minister Pasam Mawlavi said.”Snipers“Demonstrators were fired upon.

The circumstances of the violence are not clear

After the first shots, a large number of gunmen, some wearing masks and several wearing Amal and Hezbollah armor, rushed to the scene and opened fire, AFP reporters at the scene said.

But the exact circumstances of the violence are unclear, as it is not clear who shot Hizbullah and Amal militants during the protest. Two Shia movements have accused the Christian organization of Lebanese forces of recruiting snipers, but it has categorically denied the allegations.

Frightened by the shootings, Diana County residents took refuge in their apartments, while others were evacuated from their buildings. On social media, pictures showed children from a school hiding under their desks or gathered on the floor in front of classrooms.

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These pictures, as well as pictures of the dead and wounded, came to mind the dark days of the Civil War, not to mention the snipers, which began in 1975, not far from there.

The health ministry said 32 people were injured.

The violence comes in a highly tense political environment, with a heavyweight Hezbollah and its allies in Lebanese politics demanding the departure of Judge Pitta, who, despite numerous pressures, wants to punish several officials as part of an investigation into the explosion at the port on Beirut on August 4, 2020 (more than 200 died). . But politicians refuse to question the fact that officials admit that high levels of ammonium nitrate have exploded and been stored in port for years without warning.

The protest came after the Cassation Court dismissed complaints from deputies and former ministers against Mr Bitter.