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6 killed, 20 wounded by gunfire at Beirut protest over port blast probe

As deadly clashes erupt at Hezbollah rally, PM Mikati calls for calm and warns against attempts to drag Lebanon into violence

Supporters of a Shiite group allied with Hezbollah help an injured comrade during armed clashes that erupted during a protest in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, October 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Supporters of a Shiite group allied with Hezbollah help an injured comrade during armed clashes that erupted during a protest in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, October 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Gunfire killed six people and wounded 30 at a Beirut rally organized by the Shiite Hezbollah and Amal movements Thursday to demand the dismissal of the lead investigator into last year’s port blast.

Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi told a press conference that the death toll had climbed to six.

He said that some of the victims where shot in the head.

The deaths include a 24-year-old woman who was hit in the head by a stray bullet while inside her home, a doctor at the Sahel hospital in Beirut’s southern suburbs told AFP.

The Lebanese Red Cross put the number of wounded at at least 30.

AFP correspondents in the area heard heavy gunfire.

Lebanese medics help evacuate civilians during clashes in the area of Tayouneh, in the southern suburb of the capital Beirut on October 14, 2021, following a demonstration by supporters of Hezbollah and the Amal movement. (JOSEPH EID / AFP)

Lebanese television broadcast images of men carrying rifles and heavy weaponry.

The army reported “bursts of gunfire in the area of Tayouneh – Badaro,” a largely residential area of Beirut.

“The army rushed to cordon off the area and deploy in its neighborhoods and their entrance. Patrols started as did the search for the shooters to detain them,” it said.

In a follow-up statement, the military warned that it would open fire at anyone firing live rounds, calling on civilians to evacuate the area.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for calm to be restored and warned against attempts to drag Lebanon into violence.

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