Gunfire Erupts During Beirut Port Blast Protest Against Judge Leading Probe
The Military Forces Had Given A Warning That Any Gunmen Present in The Area Would Be Fired Upon Visualization
At least six individuals have been shot dead, along with 32 people have been injured during several armed clashes that have recently occurred in the capital city of Lebanon, Beirut. The shooting with live ammunition had begun during a demonstration that was being conducted by the group of Shia Muslims, Amal, and Hezbollah against the investigation that was being conducted by a judge regarding the Beirut port blast that occurred last year.
It is being reported that Christian snipers had fired at the massive crowd that had gathered to drag the country into strife.
Open fire on protestors
A huge number of tensions has begun to surround the probe into the Beirut port blast. Hezbollah, along with their allies, has claimed that the decision made by the judge on the case is biased, but his work has been supported by the families of the 218 victims that had died during the massive explosion caused by a large quantity of ammonium nitrate that was being stored in a warehouse for a couple of years at the port.
No one has yet been held to be fully accountable for the disastrous Beirut port blast that occurred on August 4 last year, which resulted in more than 7,000 injured individuals along with $15 billions of property damage, which had left about 300,000 people to be homeless as they were completely destroyed by the large-scale explosion.
The protest had initially begun from the outside of the Palace of Justice, in which hundreds of individuals took part to argue against the investigation that had been conducted regarding the Beirut port blast that has become politicized and had demanded the removal from the case of Judge Tarek Bitar, which had escalated rather quickly.
Sudden onset of heavy gunfire had erupted among the protestors on the street as the crowd passed through a roundabout located in the area of central Tayouneh-Badaro.
The local civilians had immediately fled to their residences, while schoolchildren had ducked to gain cover under their desks as armed men equipped with automatic rifles along with rocket-propelled grenade launchers, which are believed to be members of the militias of Christian and Shia, had exchanged fire on the streets outside.
The armed clashes continued for multiple hours before the calm in the area was restored.
According to the sources from the military and hospital, some of the individuals that have been killed during the protest against the ongoing investigation of the Beirut port explosion have been shot directly in the head. The victims included one woman who had been accidentally hit with a stray live bullet while she was hiding inside her residence.
Charges of negligence
Amal and Hezbollah had made accusations against their opponent, the Christian Lebanese Forces party, for giving the order for the attack on the peaceful demonstrators. Both the Shia organizations had stated that the protestors had been subjected to an armed attack by the groups belonging to the Lebanese Forces party that had been deployed in the streets along with rooftops and had directly engaged in sniping activity along with intentional killing during the demonstration for Beirut port blast.
The leader for the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, gave a public statement in which they condemned the violent activities during the protest for the Beirut port blast and had appealed to peace in the region. He tweeted that the main cause for these types of developments lies in the presence of widespread and uncontrolled access to weapons that also threaten the lives of citizens at any given time and place.
The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Najib Mikati, had recently called upon everyone to remain calm and not to be drawn into the sedition for any kind of reason. According to the military forces of the nation, they had recently deployed their troops to conduct a search operation for all the potential assailants and have given a warning that they would immediately shoot any individual carrying a live gun if seen on the roads.
On Thursday this week, a court in Lebanon had dismissed a legally filed complaint that has been brought by two former ministers of the Lebanese government along with Amal MPs, those of whom have been sought for questioning by Judge Bitar on suspicion for negligence behavior in direct connection to the Beirut port blast.