Five killed in gunfire exchanges in south of Beirut

August 01, 2021
A videograb of the Lebanese Arrny being deployed in the troubled areas south of Beirut, following exchanges of gunfire.
A videograb of the Lebanese Arrny being deployed in the troubled areas south of Beirut, following exchanges of gunfire.

BEIRUT — Five persons including an official of Hezbollah, the Lebanese branch, were killed in gunfire shooting in the coastal region of Khaldeh south of Beirut on Sunday, according to local media reports.

The media reported that gunmen opened fire during the funeral of Ali Shibli, a Hezbollah member, who was shot dead in the area on Saturday.

The attack on the funeral was followed with exchange of gunfire and rocket propelled grenades between followers of Hezbollah and armed locals.

Shibli is known as owner of a mini market in Khaldeh and official of Hezbollah. His store was set afire a year ago when one of the locals was shot dead.

The Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Sunday that he had called on the army to take immediate measures to restore calm in Khaldeh area that witnessed armed clashed in the wake of the murder of a citizen on Saturday.

In a statement, the presidency said the president followed up on the sorrowful security incidents in Khaldeh, south of Beirut, that led to the killing and wounding of some citizens. Aoun called for the arrest of the shooter and safeguarding the ,obedient of citizens.

Meanwhile the Lebanese Army announced that its forces have intensified their deployment in Khaldeh. The army command warned that its forces will open fire on any armed man on road, or any person planning to shoot from any place.

National News Agency reported earlier in the day that gunshots and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) were heard at Aaramoun and Khaldeh during the funeral of a Hezbollah official.

The Lebanese Army said on its Twitter account that it had deployed units to Khaldeh town to “control the situation” and restore calm.

The Lebanese Army and the security source said gunfire was exchanged. Local media showed footage of heavy gunfire and fires blazing in buildings in the area.

Several hours following the initial clashes, a senior official said tensions had calmed down. The Lebanese Army said it had arrested four people in connection with the clashes.

Several political parties voiced concern over the incident as it continued to unfold, reflecting a country on edge amid fears it could escalate and compound Lebanon’s multiple crises amid a political vacuum. — Agencies

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