As violent protests against the lead judge in the Beirut blast investigation rage, gunfire has erupted in Beirut, with several people reportedly killed.
Scenes of unrest sent to Twitter on Thursday showed people rushing frantically through Beirut surrounding the Justice Palace area, with sirens ringing and what sounded like multiple rounds of gunfire in the background.
#Lebanon#BREAKING There are currently fights in Beirut surrounding the Justice Palace (Badaro/Tayyouneh side) in favor of Hezbollah and Amal supporters. It’s unclear who is shooting, although these regions are primarily populated by Lebanese Forces loyalists. pic.twitter.com/gFJbcxcZ0k On the social networking platform, one violent video showed heavy gunshots and screams, as well as a critically injured man being taken through the streets bleeding.
According to accounts in the media, at least one person has been killed and numerous more have been injured. Najib Mikati, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, has demanded that the perpetrators of the violence in the capital be apprehended.
The demonstrations came after a Lebanese court dismissed a complaint brought by two politicians, Ali Hassan Khalil, the former finance minister, and Ghazi Zeiter, the former public works minister, who were set to testify in the Beirut blast probe earlier this week.
On Tuesday, Tarek Bitar, the lead investigator, had his investigation halted for the second time in less than three weeks when Khalil, a senior member of the Shiite Amal movement and an ally of Iran-backed Hezbollah, and Zeiter, another movement member, protested.
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