Beirut, Lebanon – six people were killed and 30 wounded in an open gunfire episode at a controversial protest by Hezbollah in central Beirut.
On Thursday, Amal movements and militants Hezbollah organized a protest. While the protesters were moving towards the country’s Palace of Justice, a group of snipers and gunmen called an open fire from the rooftop and caused chaos while the protesters took cover for safety.
The protest was held for the dismissal of the judge, Tarek Bitar, who has been investigating the port blast case that happened last year. The judge issued arrest orders for high-grade officials and among them, one is allied with Hezbollah.
In a press conference, Bassam Mawlawi, the Interior Minister, said that the number of people killed had reached six. Some victims were shot straight in the head, including a 24-year-old woman while she was home – says the Sahel hospital’s doctor to AFP.
The correspondents of AFP in the area heard shooting noise while the television networks of Lebanon captured images of gunmen carrying heavy weapons.
“Bursts of gunfire in the area of Tayouneh – Badaro,” says the army.
The army rushed to cordon off the area and deployed in its neighborhoods and their entrance. Patrols started, as did the search for the shooters to detain them,”
As per the media sources, the shooting began in a Christian neighborhood. Hezbollah’s Al Manar news outlet reported “Two Martyrs” and some severely wounded individuals who now have been shifted to the hospital in Beirut. The casualties include Shiites as well.
One of the witnesses from Reuters said the sound of explosions and gunfire seemed like the noise of rocket-propelled grenades were heard for several hours.
The officials deployed the army in the targeted area and ordered them to fire at anyone they found with a weapon.
In a follow-up interview, the army said they had ordered the civilians to evacuate the area at once.