Supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah carry the coffin of a member who was killed during clashes in Beirut’s southern suburbs a day earlier, on October 15, 2021

Lebanese judge charges dozens over fatal Beirut clashes

Seven followers of Iran-backed Hezbollah and its ally Amal were killed on Oct. 14 in some of the worst street violence city has seen in over a decade, which Shi'ite groups blame on Christian Lebanese Forces

Reuters |
Published: 10.25.21, 16:33
A Lebanese judge on Monday charged 68 people including 18 detainees with murder and incitement to sectarian strife over fatal clashes this month in Beirut, Lebanon's National News agency said.
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  • Seven followers of Lebanon's Shi'ite Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its ally, the Amal Movement, were killed on Oct. 14 in the worst street violence in Beirut in over a decade.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    לבנון ביירות תומכי חיזבאללה ו אמל הלוויה ל הרוגים ב קרבות ה רחוב בעיר עם הנוצרים
    לבנון ביירות תומכי חיזבאללה ו אמל הלוויה ל הרוגים ב קרבות ה רחוב בעיר עם הנוצרים
    Supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah carry the coffin of a member who was killed during clashes in Beirut’s southern suburbs a day earlier, on October 15, 2021
    (Photo: EPA)
    The gunfire began as protesters assembled for a demonstration called for by Hezbollah and Amal against Judge Tarek Bitar, who is leading an investigation into an explosion at Beirut port that killed over 200 people on Aug. 4 last year.
    Monday's charges were filed by Judge Fadi Akiki, a government representative at the military court. They also include charges of attempted murder, possession of unlicensed weapons and destruction of public and private property.
    The case was referred to an investigative judge.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, shows the scene of an explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon
    Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, shows the scene of an explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon
    The aftermath of the explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut last year
    (Photo: AP)
    Hezbollah, Amal and the Christian Marada Movement have accused Bitar of politicizing the investigation after he sought to question former ministers affiliated with the latter two parties.
    Hezbollah has accused the Christian Lebanese Forces party of targeting demonstrators with sniper fire.
    The party's leader, Samir Geagea, has denied the allegations and said residents of the Christian-majority Ain al-Remmaneh area, where the violence took place, had acted in self-defense.
    In a local television interview last week, Geagea said the trouble began when supporters of the Shi'ite Muslim parties entered the neighborhood and vandalized cars, and that four residents were wounded before a shot was fired.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    סמיר ג'עג'ע מנהיג מפלגת הכוחות הלבנוניים הנוצרית ב לבנון
    סמיר ג'עג'ע מנהיג מפלגת הכוחות הלבנוניים הנוצרית ב לבנון
    Christian Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea
    (Photo: AP)
    Footage released later appeared to show at least one person being shot by a soldier.
    A Lebanese Army spokesperson said the incident was being investigated by a military court as part of the wider investigation into the clashes.
    The clashes across a former frontline of Lebanon's 1975-90 Civil War raised the specter of renewed sectarian violence.
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