Tension was high in Lebanon on Saturday after Hezbollah-led militias took over parts of west Beirut. At least 16 people have been killed in three days of fierce fighting between the Shia opposition fighters and pro-government forces.
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The mood in Lebanon remained tense Saturday, one day after the Shiite Hezbollah movement took control of several Sunni pro-government neighbourhoods.
The coalition in power has branded the opposition’s offensive an "armed and bloody coup" aimed at bringing
Hezbollah-led Shia opposition fighters and pro-government gunmen have clashed for three days in
Two partisans belonging to the Shia opposition died during Friday’s clashes, south of
The opposition’s Shia militants led by Hezbollah engaged in street clashes with the government’s Sunni partisans, notably the Courant du futur, the cornerstone of the majority anti-Syrian party led by Saad Hariri.
The capital’s port ceased all activity Friday morning, while the road leading to
According to a spokesperson, the army has been deployed to protect “the government seat, the central bank, and the homes of Mr. Hariri and Walid Joumblatt (another pillar of the majority)” in
A pre-civil war
Joseph Bahout, a professor at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris (IEP), told
In an interview with FRANCE 24, Lebanon’s telecommunications minister Marwan Hamadeh, a member of Saad Hariri’s March 14 Alliance, was clear as to who should be blamed. “We are in the presence of a coup d’etat led by pro-Iranian and pro-Syrian militia who have taken over a section of the city and closed down all media that do not suit their agenda,” he suggested.
Opposition Shia militants began on Thursday by barring access to
“The Amal militias fired at the buildings of the TV channel and told the army to interrupt transmission before launching their assault. The army then evacuated everyone. Nobody was hurt,”
Escalation of violence
Tensions rose on Tuesday when the Lebanese government decided to dismantle Hezbollah’s telecommunications network.
On Thursday, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech in which he qualified the government’s decision to carry out an investigation on his telecommunications network as a “declaration of war.” His fiery address added fuel to clashes that had begun earlier during a demonstration over the escalating cost of living.
Saad Hariri has offered an emergency exit to the opposition, which was soon rejected.
The last deadly clashes in
Date created : 2008-05-10