The Arab News reported, Lebanon’s army is threatening to shoot anyone carrying a firearm following armed clashes during a protest against the Beirut port blast investigator.
Multiple casualties were reported, including two confirmed dead and seven wounded after gunshots were heard on Thursday in the vicinity of a protest against Judge Tarek Bitar. Reports suggest the initial shooting took place in the Tayouneh neighborhood of Beirut.
An army statement said: “While protesters were going to the Justice Palace they were fired at in the Tayounah area.”
Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for calm and the arrest of “those responsible for the violations that led to injuries.”
The demonstration, called for by the Shiite duo of Hezbollah and Amal Movement, was scheduled to take place in front of the Justice Palace in the capital of Beirut.
Al Jadeed TV reported a sniper on a rooftop taking aim at protestors in the Tayounah area of Beirut where the unidentified man was killed – but no further details were given. Media reports showed multiple shootings taking place across different Beirut neighborhoods.
A heavy military presence was reported in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. At least two explosions were heard, according to Reuters, after violence erupted. Eyewitnesses told Arab News they believed the explosions were RPGs.
The Arab News mentioned, Hezbollah and Amal called for the protest in an attempt to silence Judge Tarek Bitar who issued an arrest warrant against former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, a member of Amal.
It added, the duo accuses Bitar of bias and singling out politicians for questioning, most of them allied with Hezbollah.