Woman killed in Beirut clashes

A woman was shot dead by a stray bullet in west Beirut on Sunday, caught in the crossfire between supporters of Shiite parliament speaker Nabih Berri's Amal movement and the majority Future movement.


AFP - A woman was killed by a stray bullet during clashes in mainly Muslim west Beirut between rival Lebanese political parties on Sunday, an official of prime minister-designate Saad Hariri's party said.

The Future Movement official had no details on the woman's identity, but a  security official confirmed that a 30-year-old woman was killed by a stray bullet in the fighting.

The clashes with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades pitted supporters of Shiite parliament speaker Nabih Berri's Amal movement and the Future Movement in the Aisha Bakkar district of Beirut, correspondents said.

An army spokesman, without giving a motive for the early evening fighting which lasted two or three hours, told AFP the military ordered gunmen off the streets and that order was restored.

"The situation is calm, under army control. The army is deployed throughout the area," he told AFP.

The clashes come only a day after Sunni leader Hariri was named as prime minister, with the support of his parliamentary bloc and Amal, and followed Berri's re-election as speaker on Thursday.

Hariri's camp clinched 71 out of parliament's 128 seats in Lebanon's parliamentary election on June 7, defeating a opposition coalition led by Hezbollah, another Shiite movement.

In May 2008 after several months of political crisis and paralysis in Lebanon, Hezbollah backed by Amal seized mainly Sunni parts of west Beirut in sectarian clashes that killed more than 100 people.

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