In Pictures
Armed clashes erupt near Beirut protest against blast probe judge
Several killed and dozens wounded as gunfire erupts near the site of protest against the judge investigating the Beirut port explosion.
An army soldier takes position after gunfire erupted in Beirut. [Mohamed Azakir/Reuters]
14 Oct 2021
Several people have been killed and dozens of others wounded when gunfire erupted during a protest in Beirut by the armed group Hezbollah and its allies against the lead judge investigating last year’s massive explosion at the city’s port.
At least six people were killed and 25 others wounded in the gunfire, the Lebanese Red Cross told Al Jazeera.
The exchanges of fire involving snipers, pistols, automatic rifles, and rocket-propelled grenades were a dangerous escalation of tensions over the domestic probe.
Gunfire echoed in the capital and ambulances rushed to the scene, sirens wailing. Snipers shot from buildings. Bullets penetrated apartment windows in the area. Four projectiles fell near a private French school, Freres of Furn el Chebbak, causing panic, a security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
The students huddled in the central corridors with the windows open to avoid major effect, in scenes reminiscent of the 1975-90 civil war.
The protest outside the Justice Palace was called for by the powerful Hezbollah group and its allies who are demanding the removal of Judge Tarek Bitar.
It was not immediately clear what triggered the gunfire, but tensions were high along a former civil war front line between Shia and Christian areas.
In a statement, Prime Minister Najib Mikati appealed for calm and urged people “not to be dragged into civil strife”.
Supporters of a Shia group allied with Hezbollah help an injured comrade during armed clashes that erupted in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh. [Hassan Ammar/AP Photo]
Army soldiers are deployed after gunfire erupted in Beirut at a site near a protest that was getting under way against Judge Tarek Bitar, who is investigating last year's port explosion, in Beirut. [Mohamed Azakir/Reuters]
A man runs to take cover as supporters of a Shia group allied with Hezbollah fire weapons during the armed clashes that erupted in Beirut. [Hassan Ammar/AP Photo]
An army soldier carries a schoolchild as civilians flee after gunfire erupted. [Mohamed Azakir/Reuters]
Supporters of a Shia group allied with Hezbollah fire weapons in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh. [Hassan Ammar/AP Photo]
Lebanese Army soldiers take a position in the area of Tayouneh, in the southern suburb of the capital Beirut. [Joseph Eid/AFP]
A fighter from the Amal movement takes aim during clashes in the area of Tayouneh. [Anwar Amro/AFP]
Lebanese medics help evacuate civilians during clashes in the area of Tayouneh. [Joseph Eid/AFP]
At least 6 killed, dozens wounded in gunfire near Beirut protest
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