A group of “snipers” has carried out a shootout this Thursday in Beirut against Shiite protesters that has already left at least six dead and about thirty wounded. The confrontation took place when the Shiite formations Amal and Hezbollah were heading to the Palace of Justice to request the dismissal of the judge in charge of investigating the explosion that occurred in August 2020 in the city.
In a televised speech, the country’s interior minister, Bassam Maulaui, It has explained that several people were shot “in the head” by snipers located on rooftops and has confirmed the launch of rocket-propelled grenades in the same area.
Accusations of the confrontation
The shooting has not been officially attributed to any group, despite accusations by the two Shiite allies against “groups” linked to the Lebanese Forces, the second Christian bloc of the Lebanese Parliament and a former militia that operated during the civil war ( 1975-1990), in which the different sects of the Arab country clashed.
“The participants were the target of an armed attack by groups of the Lebanese Forces party, which were deployed in adjacent neighborhoods and on the roofs of buildings to carry out direct sniper operations,” both Shiite parties said in a statement from their domes.
I deplore the events that took place in the Beirut area, especially the surroundings of the Tayouneh area, on the occasion of the demonstrations called by “Hezbollah”.
The main reason for these events is the dispersal and widespread weapon that threatens citizens at all times and places.
– SAMIR GEAGEA (@DRSAMIRGEAGEA) October 14, 2021
For his part, the leader of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, condemned the disturbances on his Twitter account and blamed the existence of weapons in Lebanon for what happened: “I deplore the events that took place in the Beirut area, especially around the Tayouneh area, on the occasion of the demonstrations called by Hezbollah. The main reason for these events is the widespread existence of weapons that threaten citizens in every country. “
Negligence in the investigation
The attacked protesters were heading to a protest calling for the dismissal of Magistrate Tarek Bitar, who is investigating the explosion in the port of the Lebanese capital and in which several former Amal officials are suspected of negligence.
Around the same time as the Tayoune shooting, a court dismissed a lawsuit filed this week against Bitar by two legislators and former ministers of this party, who have been accused of obstructing the investigation to buy time until they regain their parliamentary immunity in the coming days. .
Asimism, andBitar’s predecessor was removed from office earlier this year following a lawsuit by former senior officials suspected in this case, with major political implications.
Explosions in Beirut of 2020
On August 4, 2020, a major explosion took place in the port of Beirut, leaving more than 200 dead and 6,000 injured and destroying a large part of the city.
More than a year after the tragedy, the origin of the explosion has not yet been clarified. completely and have not been found responsible, which further accentuates the country’s long political, social and economic crisis.