The Shiite movements Hezbollah and Amal were demonstrating to demand the dismissal of the judge in charge of the investigation into the explosion at the port of the Lebanese capital, when shots were fired. Three people were killed and twenty others injured, Thursday, October 14, during a demonstration in Beirut, according to medical sources quoted by AFP.
A man was killed by a shot in the head and a second was shot in the chest, said Mariam Hassan, of the Sahel hospital, in the southern suburbs of Beirut. The national news agency (ANI, official) reported a third death at Rassoul al-Aazam hospital, also in the southern Shiite suburb. Twenty other people were injured, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.
The army reported shooting in the Tayouné-Badaro neighborhood, adding that it had “cordoned off the sector and its accesses”. “The patrols are looking for the people behind the shots to stop them”, she added, warning that the military would open fire on anyone who shoots and calling on civilians to evacuate the neighborhood.
Prime Minister Nagib Mikati called for a return to calm and warned against attempts to drag Lebanon into a cycle of violence.
The demonstration brought together hundreds of demonstrators who came to demand the departure of Judge Tarek Bitar, at the heart of a smear campaign in recent days. After complaints from former ministers, he was forced on Tuesday to suspend his investigation, causing a serious crisis in the Lebanese government formed last month. The Court of Cassation had just rejected these complaints, thus allowing Tarek Bitar to resume his investigations.
The explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, left at least 214 dead, more than 6,500 injured and devastated several districts of the capital.