Beirut Protests Erupt into City-wide Gunfights

A rally calling for the removal of the judge from Beirut blast investigation in Beirut organized by the Shiite Hezbollah and Amal movements erupted into a firefight and left at last six people dead and more than 30 injured.

Hezbollah said that wanted to remove Judge Tarek Bitar from the Beirut Port explosion probe for alleged bias. 

Gunfire was later heard across the city while the Hezbollah has not yet identified the assailants. 

Footage of the scene has shown people running for cover while gunshots echo in the background. 

The Lebanese Red Cross earlier reported that five people have been killed but Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi later said that another has been killed by a stray bullet. 

The Red Cross also said that 30 people were injured during the shootings.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for calm and to avoid further escalations of violence. 

“It’s clear that those who fired at the protesters were organized armed groups who have been planning this attack since yesterday. We will not fire back. They want to drag us into civil strife and we do not want to sow civil strife,” a Hezbollah official said. 

© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.