At least 4 killed in Beirut amid clashes over blast probe

At least 4 killed in Beirut amid clashes over blast probe

Coinciding with a demonstration in front of the Palace of Justice in Beirut, an intense exchange of fire took place

At least four people were killed and eight others wounded on Thursday, as a result of an exchange of fire that coincided with a demonstration against the judicial investigator in the Beirut port explosion case, and two explosions were heard in the capital, while President Michel Aoun confirmed his communication with the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Interior and Defense and the Army Commander to calm the situation.

Maryam Hassan, the emergency director at Al-Sahel Hospital, said: "One person who was shot in the head has arrived at the hospital, and there are eight injured, three are in serious condition."

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Coinciding with a demonstration in front of the Palace of Justice in Beirut, an intense exchange of fire took place in the nearby Tayouneh area, despite the heavy deployment of the Lebanese army.

Local media circulated video clips showing armed men shooting in the streets. The Lebanese army announced that "during protesters heading to the Adliya area, they were subjected to bursts of fire in the Tayouneh area - Badaro, and the army rushed to cordon off the area and deployed in its neighborhoods."

President Michel Aoun confirmed his communication with the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Interior and Defense and the Army Commander to calm the situation in Beirut.

The demonstration coincided with the rejection by the Civil Court of Cassation of a lawsuit filed by two former ministers requesting that Judge Bitar be removed from the case, allowing him to resume his investigations. on political officials.

Since his claim against former Prime Minister Hassan Diab, and his request to prosecute former MPs and ministers, four concerned ministers have submitted complaints before the courts, demanding that the case be transferred from Bitar's hand, forcing him to suspend the investigation into the case twice so far.

This is the second time that the judiciary has rejected a similar case against Bitar, due to the court's lack of jurisdiction to consider it.

On August 4, 2020, a huge explosion killed at least 214 people and wounded more than 6,500 others, in addition to extensive destruction in the capital. The authorities attributed the explosion to the storage of large quantities of ammonium nitrate without protective measures. It turns out that officials at several levels were aware of the dangers of storing the substance.

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