Middle East

Death toll from violence in Lebanese capital climbs to 7

Majority of injured protesters discharged from hospitals except 4, says Health Ministry

Safiye Karabacak and Mahmut Geldi   | 15.10.2021
Death toll from violence in Lebanese capital climbs to 7

BEIRUT

The death toll from gunfire in Beirut during a protest in support of Hezbollah and the Amal movement has risen to seven, the country's Health Ministry said on Friday.

On Thursday, unknown gunmen opened fire on protesters from rooftops near the Palace of Justice, forcing demonstrators and journalists to take cover.

Clashes then broke out between masked gunmen and the snipers, leaving six people dead and 32 others wounded.

According to a ministry statement, the death toll has risen to seven, while most of the injured have been discharged from hospitals, with the exception of four who are still being treated.

The protest was organized to demand Tarek Bitar, the judge heading the investigation into last year's deadly Beirut port blast, be removed from his position after the court dismissed a complaint against him and permitted him to continue the inquiry.

Commenting on the violence, the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah and the Amal movement released a joint statement accusing an "armed group" affiliated with the Lebanese Forces party led by Samir Geagea of being behind the attack.

The Lebanese military said in a statement that the protesters were attacked while they were heading towards the Palace of Justice.

The Beirut port blast in August 2020 killed more than 200 people, wounded around 6,000 and left some 300,000 homeless besides causing massive damage and further weakening Lebanon’s already fragile economy.

* Writing by Seda Sevencan

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