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Russia voices concern over deepening crisis in Lebanon

Russian Foreign Ministry calls on Lebanese sides to exercise restraint and return to 'constructive work'

Elena Teslova   | 15.10.2021
Russia voices concern over deepening crisis in Lebanon

MOSCOW

Moscow is "extremely concerned" about clashes in the Lebanese capital Beirut, which left six people dead, a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said on Friday.

Moscow calls on the sides to exercise restraint and expects the government of Najib Mikati will be able to cope with the situation, the ministry said.

"We hope that the government of Najib Mikati, formed with considerable difficulty, will cope with this dangerous challenge and will not allow further degradation of the situation in the country.

"We express our condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims. We call on all Lebanese politicians to show restraint and prudence, to return to constructive joint work in the interests of resolving current issues on the national agenda on the basis of mutual respect and consent, without external interference," it said.

On Oct. 14, 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.

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

Commenting on the violence, Lebanese resistance group 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 they were heading toward 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.

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