Threats filled the air of Beirut where gunfire raged Thursday as the terrorist group Hezbollah vowed to rachet up the violence that led to seven people being killed.
On Thursday, Hezbollah and its fellow terrorist group Amal organized a protest against the investigation of the devastating 2020 explosion in Beirut’s port area, which killed 215 people, wounded thousands, and devastated large areas of the city.
During that protest, a firefight broke out, leading to the deaths, according to the Times of Israel.
Amal and Hezbollah blame the Lebanese Forces Christian party for starting the violence, a claim the Christians reject.
#Lebanon: Hezbollah/Amal gunmen returning fire after a protest march in Tayyouneh #Beirut (against a judge in the August Blast investigation) came under fire building(s) around. I believe the higher ROF we can hear is a MG being fired at the march.pic.twitter.com/prJuPzDWBJ
— Cᴀʟɪʙʀᴇ Oʙsᴄᴜʀᴀ ? (@CalibreObscura) October 14, 2021
“This massacre was committed by the LF movement,” senior Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine said Friday, saying the group wanted to “start a civil war.”
“We will not be dragged into sectarian strife … but at the same time we cannot allow the blood of our (martyrs) to go to waste,” he said
Funerals were held Friday for some of the dead.
Jumanah Zabaneh, 45, left her home in the thick of the fighting to get her daughters, who were at their school.
“The gunfire was so close, we had to duck every two meters,” she said. “We hid behind cars, at the entrances to buildings, behind utility poles.”
Just another surreal day in #Beirut for the guy in the green shirt !
— Ariane Elmas (@ArianeElmas) October 14, 2021
The violence came against a backdrop of political corruption and economic collapse. Last week, the state-run power plants ran out of fuel, leaving many with no electricity.
“The way this looks is it is Maronite [Christians] against Shias. There is a deadlock here,” Sami Awad, a resident of central Lebanon, said, according to The Guardian. “It’s partly about the corruption that got us to this point, but also about the regional elements. It’s really dangerous.”
The investigation by Judge Tarek Bitar into the 2020 explosion has failed to reach any conclusions amid efforts by political figures to hamper his probe. Hezbollah and Amal say he is biased against them.
The State Department says Bitar needs to have full freedom to investigate the disaster.
Beirut explosion in August 2020 pic.twitter.com/Noxyu91pOw
— will (@4wma4) October 14, 2021
“Judges must be free from violence. They must be free of threats. They must be free of intimidation, including that of Hezbollah,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.