Heavy gunfire erupted during violent clashes that have claimed at least two lives in Beirut amid protests against the leading judge who invested last year’s deadly blast in Beirut, with the Lebanese army deployed to put out the unrest.
On Thursday, riot scenes posted on Twitter showed people running eagerly throughout Beirut around the Justice Palace area, with sirens blazing in the background and it sounded like several rounds of gunfire.
#Lebanon#ACCENT ongoing clashes right now in Beirut around the Palace of Justice (Badaro / Tayyouneh side) amid a protest for Hezbollah, Amal supporters. It is not clear who is firing, but these areas are inhabited by a majority of the Lebanese forces. pic.twitter.com/gFJbcxcZ0k
One graphic video on social media platform captured heavy gunfire and screams and a seriously injured man who was dragged through the streets bleeding.
In a statement uploaded to the Lebanese army’s Twitter account, the military said its soldiers will shoot down all armed men on the road and anyone firing from elsewhere. It is also sa that its unit had asked civilians to evacuate the streets and that searches were underway to find the perpetrators.
The Lebanese Red Cross confirmed that at least two people have been killed and several injured. Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati has demanded the arrest of perpetrators of violence in the capital.
The protests come shortly after the Lebanese court dismissed a case brought by two politicians, former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil and former Minister of Public Works Ghazi Zeiter, who was to stand in the port of Beirut earlier this week.
Tarek Bitar, the leading investigator, suspended his investigation for the second time in three weeks on Tuesday after Khalil, a member of the Shiite Amal movement and an ally of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, and Zeiter, also close to the movement, complained.
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