Hezbollah clash with Lebanon Sunni group kills one

BEIRUT — Supporters of Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah clashed on Tuesday with partisans of a small Sunni Muslim group in the Lebanese capital, killing one person, an army spokesman said.

By (AFP)

Published: Thu 26 Aug 2010, 1:08 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:51 AM

“A personal fight between a supporter of Hezbollah and another of Al-Ahbash erupted just after 7:00 pm (1600 GMT) in Beirut’s Burj Abi Haidar neighbourhood and escalated into a firefight in which a supporter of Hezbollah was killed,” an army spokesman told AFP.

“The army has intervened and is trying to restore calm in the area,” he said.

A police spokesman told AFP the fighters were using shoulder-launched rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.

Three people were injured in the clashes, a Red Cross aid worker told AFP.

An AFP correspondent said the army had cordonned off the area as several Red Cross ambulances arrived to the site of the clashes.

It was not immediately clear what triggered the fighting between partisans of the two groups.

Shiite Hezbollah, Lebanon’s most powerful political and military force, is backed by Syria and Iran.

Sunni group Al-Ahbash is also pro-Syrian and describes itself as a charitable organisation promoting Islamic culture.

Al-Ahbash first came to light in 1983 and gathered strength during the Syrian military presence in Lebanon, which ended under international pressure following the 2005 murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.

Members of the Shiite Amal movement, which is headed by parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, briefly joined the fight on Hezbollah’s side, an Amal partisan told AFP.

The fighting took place as Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah addressed an all-women iftar, the meal which ends the daily dawn-to-dusk fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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