3 killed in clashes between Hizbullah, Ahbash elements
Resistance demands surrender of Fawaz's killers
By The Daily Star
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
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BEIRUT: Three men were killed in Beirut on Tuesday in clashes between
supporters of Shiite group Hizbullah and a Sunni faction, Al-Ahbash, security
Mohammad Fawaz, a Hizbullah official, his aide Munzer Hadi and Fawez Omeirat
from Al-Ahbash were killed in clashes sparked by a fight between a supporter of
Hizbullah and another from Al-Ahbash in the mixed Sunni-Shiite Beirut
neighborhood of Burj Abi Haidar in Beirut.
But late on Tuesday Hizbullah and Al-Ahbash issued a joint statement following
a meeting at the offices of the Lebanese Army Intelligence Unit in Beirut
saying the clash was "an isolated one and does not carry any political and
However, Hizbullah later demanded the surrender of four persons involved in the
killing of Fawaz, warning that it would interfere militarily if its demand was
not met, according to reports.
The Association of Islamic Charitable Projects, better known as Al-Ahbash, is a
pro-Syrian conservative Sunni Muslim group, rival to many other Sunni groups in
the country, including Premier Saad Hariri's Future Movement and the hard-line
Hizbullah and Al-Ahbash also agreed to "contain the incident and end it
immediately, as well as banning all armed presence in the area so as to deal
with all the repercussions of the incident," the statement added.
Also, the statement said the Lebanese Army has started an investigation into
the incident, with both Hizbullah and Al-Ahbash vowing not to protect anyone
who endangers security and stability.
As The Daily Star went to press, calm was restored in Burj Abi Haidar and the
neighborhoods of Zkak al-Blat, Basta, Hay al-Leja and Mazraa, where the
fighting spread. However, new clashes were heard in the Beirut neighborhood of
A well-informed security source told The Daily Star that a personal fight
between a supporter of Hizbullah and another of Al-Ahbash erupted just after
7:00 pm (1600 GMT) in Burj Abi Haidar and escalated into a firefight.
The source said the fight started when the Hizbullah supporter tried to park
his car near the Al-Ahbash Mosque in the area but the Al-Ahbash supporter would
not let him, which led supporters of both parties to intervene in the clash.
Afterward, the Al-Ahbash supporter fired shots from a machine gun, injuring
four Hizbullah supporters. Hizbullah then cordoned off the area surrounding the
Al-Ahbash Center and Mosque. Other reports said Hizbullah supporters fired at
Al-Ahbash-owned shops and an AP photographer said angry crowds set fire to an
Al-Ahbash mosque in Basta. The clashes escalated and machine guns and rocket
propelled grenades were used, the sources and witnesses said.
The army intervened to restore calm, with troops cordoning off the area and
firing warning shots into the air. - The Daily Star, with agencies
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)
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