Beirut (QNN)- At least three people were killed in Beirut on Thursday when heavy gunfire targeted protesters, as they headed to a protest demanding the removal of the judge investigating last year’s blast at the city’s port.
The Lebanese Army said in a statement the gunfire had targeted protesters as they passed through a traffic circle located in an area dividing Christian and Shi’ite Muslim neighbourhoods.
As Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for calm, a military source told Reuters two people had been killed and 15 more wounded.
Hundreds of Hezbollah supporters and allies wearing black gathered at the Beirut Justice Palace on Thursday calling for the removal of Judge Tarek Bitar from the Beirut Port explosion probe, accusing him of being biased and an “American slave”.
Gunfire was heard from building rooftops in the nearby Tayyoune neighbourhood, scattering the angry protesters.
The Lebanese Army intervened, arresting one of the shooters. The identities and affiliations of the shooters remain unclear.
The protest comes two days after Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah accused Bitar of “politically targeting” officials in his investigation.
On August 4, 2020, more than 200 people were killed and more than 6,500 wounded in the explosion at Beirut’s port, when a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate, which had been stored unsafely at the port for years, detonated.
The blast was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded, and the most destructive single incident in Lebanon’s troubled history.
Entire neighbourhoods of the country’s capital were destroyed.