After a rally against the Port Blast Judge, Lebanon’s capital is rocked by deadly clashes.

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After a rally against the Port Blast Judge, Lebanon’s capital is rocked by deadly clashes.

Heavy fighting in Lebanon’s capital killed at least six people and injured scores more on Thursday, as emotions over last year’s big portside explosion escalated, turning portions of Beirut into a war zone.

For a population already traumatized by last year’s explosion calamity and Lebanon’s worst-ever economic crisis, the army deployed tanks and troops to calm street fights that evoked memories of the 1975-1990 civil war.

For more than three hours, the sound of gunfire and grenade blasts coupled with the wail of ambulance sirens slammed through houses, while scared inhabitants cowered indoors.

Shots were fired at a demonstration by the Muslim Shiite Hezbollah and Amal movements, resulting in the bloodshed.

The demonstrators were marching against judge Tarek Bitar, who was tasked with examining the enormous explosion of poorly stored ammonium nitrate at Beirut’s port on August 4 last year, which killed over 210 people and damaged swaths of the metropolis.

Hezbollah and Amal had been on the lookout for the judge in recent days after he subpoenaed key officials in his investigation.

According to AFP correspondents, the violence began on Thursday with sniper fire from residential buildings, which was retaliated by Hezbollah and Amal supporters with AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

In a televised speech late Thursday, President Michel Aoun urged for calm.

“Weapons cannot return as a way of communication between Lebanese sides,” he stated, referring to the civil war.

He claimed that political leaders were “on the verge of finding a solution” to the situation.

As protestors marched to the Palace of Justice, the army stated it had responded to a skirmish and exchange of gunfire in the Tayouneh – Badaro region.

It then “raided a number of locations in search of the shooters, detaining nine” persons in total, including members of both sides. According to the report, one of those detained was a Syrian national.

The military made no mention of who sparked the firefight.

The “exchange began with sniper fire, with the first casualty shot in the head,” according to Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi.

He claimed that at least six persons had been killed, all by gunfire, but he did not say who fired the rounds.

According to the health ministry, 32 persons were injured.

The “exchange began with sniper fire, with the first casualty shot in the head,” according to Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi.

He claimed that at least six persons had been killed, all by gunfire, but he did not say who fired the rounds.

According to the health ministry, 32 persons were injured.

Among. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

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