Heavy gunfire in west Beirut

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Heavy gunfire in west Beirut

Heavy gunfire was heard in a Sunni district of west Beirut early Monday, just hours after clashes that followed the funeral of a top Lebanese security official killed in a car bomb blast.

By (AFP)

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Published: Mon 22 Oct 2012, 9:06 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 3:12 PM

For more than an hour, the sound of automatic weapons could be heard coming from the Tariq Jdideh district, an AFP correspondent said.

Soldiers prevented reporters and photographers from approaching the area and neither the army nor security services have so far made any comment.

Local television station Al Jadeed carried appeals from local residents for the injured to be evacuated. Heavy gunfire could be heard in the background.

The station said the gunfire was a battle involving groups claiming allegiance with opposition leader Saad Hariri and rival groups.

The clashes come after Sunday’s funeral of General Wissam Al Hassan, which itself was followed by skirmishes between mourners and the security forces in Beirut.

Police fired in the air and used tear gas to drive back protesters who tried to storm Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s office in Beirut.

Opposition figures have called for Mikati to resign and his government, which is dominated by pro-Syria parties, to step down.

The opposition has blamed Syrian President Bashar Al Assad for Friday’s car bomb blast, which killed Hassan and several other people in a suburb of the capital.

They also hold Assad responsible for the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father, ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, who was killed in a huge Beirut blast.

In other violence Sunday, a nine-year-old girl died during clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime in the northern city of Tripoli, Mikati’s hometown. Another eight people were wounded, security and medical officials said.

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