At least six people were killed and 30 others injured during a demonstration organized in Beirut by the Shiite movements Hezbollah and Amal. The investigations into the Beirut explosion are at the heart of the dispute.
Six people were killed and thirty others injured Thursday, October 14, during shooting during a demonstration organized in Beirut by the Shiite movements Hezbollah and Amal to demand the dismissal of the judge in charge of the investigation into the explosion at the port of the Lebanese capital, according to medical sources.
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Among the victims were a man who was shot in the head, a second shot in the chest and a 24-year-old woman was killed by a stray bullet while at home, according to medical sources. Images by France 24 journalist Wassim Nasr show the use of an RPG-7 in the shots and explosions that resonate not far from the Palais de Justice.
Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi called for “preserve civil peace“, Emphasizing that”snipersWere at the origin of the shots since victims were hit in the head according to him. Prime Minister Nagib Mikati called for a return to calm and warned against attempts to drag Lebanon into a cycle of violence.
A demonstration to demand the departure of judge Tarek Bitar
Ambulances were pouring in to take care of the wounded in the deserted streets, near the courthouse where hundreds of demonstrators had gathered to demand the departure of judge Tarek Bitar, at the heart of a smear campaign in recent days.
AFP correspondents heard heavy gunfire in the area, as local channels showed men carrying small and medium weapons. In a statement, the army reported shooting in the Tayouné-Badaro neighborhood, adding that it had “cordoned off the sector and its accesses». «Patrols are looking for the people behind the shots to stop themShe added, warning that the military would open fire on anyone who shoots and calling on civilians to evacuate the neighborhood.
The demonstration took place at the same place where the relatives of the victims of the explosion regularly gather to demand that the investigation be concluded. It came just after the Court of Cassation dismissed complaints from former ministers against Tarek Bitar, allowing him to resume his investigations.
Tarek Bitar was forced on Tuesday to suspend his investigation after the complaints, sparking the most serious crisis in the Lebanese government since its formation last month. The explosion on August 4, 2020 and caused by the storage without precautionary measures of huge quantities of ammonium nitrate left at least 214 dead, more than 6,500 injured and devastated several neighborhoods of the capital. Pointed out for criminal negligence, the authorities refuse any international investigation and are accused by the families of the victims and NGOs of torpedoing the local investigation.