World, Middle East

Lebanese army detains 9 people over Beirut violence

Army says it is in contact with relevant parties to contain situation in Lebanese capital

Naim Burjawi   | 14.10.2021
Lebanese army detains 9 people over Beirut violence Security forces are deployed to the protest after fire was opened on the demonstrators from some buildings at the Et-Tayyuna area during a demonstration as protesters march to the Beirut Palace of Justice, demanding the replacement of the judge Tariq al-Bitar, who investigated the explosion that took place in Beirut Harbor last year in Beirut, Lebanon on October 14, 2021. ( Houssam Shabaro - Anadolu Agency )

BEIRUT

The Lebanese army announced the arrest of nine people, including a Syrian national, in connection with deadly gunfire that erupted in Beirut on Thursday.

In a statement on Twitter, the army said it had bolstered its forces in the areas that witnessed the clashes occurred after unknown gunmen opened fire on demonstrating members of the Hezbollah group and Amal Movement, deploying patrols to avert further violence.

It also added that the army command was in contact with the parties involved to contain the situation and prevent wider fighting.

Early on Thursday, unknown gunmen opened fire at the protest near the Palace of Justice, killing at least six people and wounding 32 others.

The protest was held to demand the removal of Tarek Bitar, the judge heading the probe into last year's deadly Beirut port blast, as the court dismissed a complaint against him and allowed him to continue the investigation.

Commenting on the violence, Hezbollah and Amal 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 heading toward the Palace of Justice.

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

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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