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Two killed in Hezbollah-Sunni clash in Beirut
France24 ^ | 24 August 2010 | Wire

Posted on 08/24/2010 4:59:20 PM PDT by csvset

Two people were killed in a four-hour firefight between Shiite Hezbollah supporters and a Sunni group in Beirut on Tuesday, an army spokesman said.

AFP - Two people, including a Hezbollah official, were killed in clashes between supporters of the Shiite Muslim movement and partisans of a small Sunni group in Beirut on Tuesday, an army spokesman said.

Police told AFP the fighters were using shoulder-launched rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns in the fighting, which continued for some four hours and in which another three people were wounded.

"A personal fight between a supporter of Hezbollah and another of Al-Ahbash erupted just after 7:00 pm (1600 GMT) in Beirut's Burj Abi Haidar neighbourhood and escalated into a firefight in which two men were killed, one of whom has been identified as a member of Hezbollah," the army spokesman said.

"The army has intervened and is trying to restore calm in the area," he said.

An AFP correspondent at the site of the clashes said eyewitnesses had identified the victim as Hezbollah official Mohammed Fawaz.

Witnesses said the clash began as an argument between Fawaz and supporters of the Sunni group over a parking space near a mosque frequented by Al-Ahbash.

Gunfire and explosions could be heard as the fighting continued late into the evening in Burj Abi Haidar, an area in west Beirut considered a stronghold of parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri's Shiite Amal movement, which is allied with Hezbollah.

An Amal partisan told AFP that Amal members briefly joined the fight on Hezbollah's side, but the party later issued a statement denying that claim.

Troops cordoned off the area and were firing warning shots into the air as several Red Cross ambulances arrived at the site of the clashes, AFP's correspondent said.

All roads leading to the area had been cut off to traffic and pedestrians, security officials said.

Hezbollah, Lebanon's most powerful political and military force, is backed by Syria and Iran.

Al-Ahbash is also pro-Syrian and describes itself as a charitable organisation promoting Islamic culture.

The group landed a seat in parliament in 1992 amid a widespread boycott of elections. It lost the seat in 1996 but continued to exercise considerable influence over the country's politics.

Al-Ahbash first came to light in 1983 and gathered strength during the Syrian military presence in Lebanon, which ended under international pressure following the 2005 assassination of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.

The movement has lost considerable weight since.

The fighting took place as Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah addressed an all-women iftar, the meal which ends the daily dawn-to-dusk fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Nasrallah made no mention of the incident.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: beirut; hezbollah; lebanon; sunni
Who to root for?
1 posted on 08/24/2010 4:59:21 PM PDT by csvset
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To: csvset

Major weapons and all they can kill is two POS? Come on Hezzies, Sunnis, Shiites, etc. You can do better. Instead of firing one RPG rocket at a target, fire two. Betters you chances of killing someone.

Take out all of West Beirut. Call i “urban renewal”. Just do it.

Kill an extremist for the Gipper.

I sure do admire that “religion of peace” or was it “pieces”?

2 posted on 08/24/2010 5:12:45 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: csvset

Moooslims killing Moooslims - keep it up!!

3 posted on 08/24/2010 5:48:39 PM PDT by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: csvset

Gotta root for the Sunnis here.

Lebanon has basically become Hezbollahstan, and the entire country is run as a client state of Iran. Any problems for Hezbollah are headaches for Iran, which is a good thing.

4 posted on 08/24/2010 5:53:23 PM PDT by denydenydeny (You're not only wrong. You're wrong at the top of your voice. --Spencer Tracy, Bad Day at Black Rock)
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