Interreligious violence turns deadly in Lebanon
At least six people were killed and 30 more injured in street fighting between Christians and Muslims in Beirut on Thursday. The Lebanese army deployed to counter the shooting and evacuate residential areas. Stray bullets struck some residents in their homes while masked men shot machine guns in the streets. Schools, government offices, and other businesses remained closed on Friday as the government called for a day of mourning.
How did it start? The Muslim militant group Hezbollah organized a demonstration along with ally group the Amal Movement to protest the judge leading an investigation into last year’s port bombing. The groups were walking to the Justice Palace, which separates the Christian and Muslim sides of the capital city, to argue Judge Tarek Bitar is biased against Muslims because he has singled out Hezbollah allies for questioning. A Christian political group staged counterdemonstrations, and supporters carried large crosses through the streets in support of Bitar. Both Christian and Muslim groups said rooftop snipers from the other side began gunning them down. The gunfights then spread through nearby Christian neighborhoods.
Dig deeper: Listen to Mindy Belz discuss Beirut’s recovery a year after the massive port explosion.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to support WORLD's brand of Biblically sound journalism, click here.