(CNN) – At least six people were killed and at least 30 were injured in what became known as the Cold War on Thursday, just before the Beirut demonstration demanding the removal of the judge who presided over the August 2020 port explosion.
The Lebanese Red Cross recorded six deaths during armed clashes in the capital. Lebanese Interior Minister Basam Mawlawi told reporters that gunmen and gunmen “shot people in the head” while four P7 rockets were fired into the air, the worst wave of violence in the devastated capital.
Hundreds of Hezbollah supporters with Iranian support and its main Shia ally marched on a court in the city of Amal, where protesters opened fire on protesters on the roof, forcing protesters and journalists to cover up, military and local stations said in a statement.
Masked gunmen, associated with protesters, fired AK-47s from alleys, garbage dumps and behind barricades in social media images.
Smoke was seen rising from inside the buildings, which appeared to have been burned. The epicenter of the violence was in the Taiwanese neighborhood, near the epicenter of the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war, which heightened fears of increased violence in the crisis-stricken country.
About four hours after the fighting began, the firing rockets stopped. Some traffic returned to the streets of the capital as the Lebanese Red Cross and civil defense groups evacuated people shocked by the Dione bombings.
In a joint statement, Hezbollah and Amal accused the Lebanese forces, a right-wing Christian party, of being behind the shooting. The party, which had previously threatened to send protesters against the planned protests on Thursday, has not responded to the allegations.
“It is clear that those who shot the protesters were armed groups who planned to carry out the attack from yesterday,” a senior Hezbollah official told CNN. “We will not respond. They want to drag us into a civil war. We do not want to sow civil strife.”
Hezbollah has been a staunch opponent of Tarek Bidar, seeking to prosecute prominent judges and high-ranking officials who are investigating the Beirut bombings. This week, a judge issued an arrest warrant for legislator Ali Hassan Khalil, a senior enforcement officer and former finance minister.
Former Prime Minister Chad Hariri’s ally and former home minister MP
Since his appointment in February, Bitter, who has been chairman of the Beirut Criminal Court, has sought high-ranking political and security officials to investigate the Beirut bombing. He is the second forensic investigator to lead the investigation. The first judge was removed from office after two former ministers accused in the trial successfully filed a petition seeking his removal.
Several legal petitions by the authorities to remove Pita have failed.
During a televised speech on Monday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah accused the judge of “politicizing”.
For two years, Lebanon has been mired in an economic recession that has led to rising inflation, poverty rates and unemployment and a sharp decline in the country’s infrastructure.