*. October 14. Today Nation News. On Thursday, a bloody shootout took place in Beirut during a Hezbollah protest against a judge who led an investigation into last year’s port bombing. At least six people have been killed and dozens injured in violent street fighting in the Lebanese capital in recent years. Informs about it Today Nation News citing Associated Press.
Pistols, automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers were involved in the shootings. The shooting continued for several hours. Snipers fired from buildings, bullets pierced the windows of apartments. Schools were evacuated and residents took refuge in shelters. Four shells fell outside the private French school Freres of Furn el Chebbak, causing panic.
In a statement, two Shiite groups said their protesters were fired upon by snipers stationed on the rooftops. Among the dead – all Shiites – were two Hezbollah members.
The Lebanese Red Cross reported that at least 30 people were injured. One of the victims, a mother of five children, received a gunshot wound to the head. Hezbollah said it has scheduled the funeral of the woman and two of her fighters for Friday.
The shooting ceased approximately 4:00 after the introduction of the troops.
It is not yet known who opened the shooting, which began shortly after the start of a protest organized by Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its Shiite Amal allies against Judge Tarek Bitar, who is leading the investigation into a massive port bombing last year. Hezbollah and its allies accuse the judge of choosing politicians to interrogate, most of whom are Hezbollah allies. So far, no Hezbollah officials have been charged as part of the 14-month investigation.
Tensions over the port explosion have exacerbated many of Lebanon’s problems, including a currency collapse, hyperinflation, skyrocketing poverty and an energy crisis that led to prolonged power outages.
Hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate that were improperly stored in a warehouse in the port of Beirut exploded on August 4, 2020. The explosion killed at least 215 people, injured thousands and destroyed parts of the surrounding area. It was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history and further devastated a country already plagued by political divisions and financial problems.