Lebanese judge charges 68 people over deadly clash south of Beirut

A Lebanese judge has charged 68 people in this month’s deadly clash in Beirut that left seven people dead and dozens wounded, the state news agency reports.

The clash south of Beirut on October 14, the worst fighting in the capital in years, broke out during a Hezbollah-organized protest against the judge leading the investigation into last year’s massive Beirut port blast.

The National News Agency says Judge Fadi Akiki, a government representative at the military court, has charged the 68 people with crimes including murder, attempted murder, inciting sectarian strife, having unlicensed weapons and sabotage.

The battle went on for five hours between supporters of Lebanon’s two powerful Iran-backed Shiite armed groups, Hezbollah and Amal, and gunmen believed to be supporters of the Christian Lebanese Forces party. It took place on the line between Beirut’s Chiyah and Ain el-Rumaneh neighborhoods, the same frontline that bisected the capital into warring sections during the country’s civil war.

The NNA says 18 people are in detention while the remaining 50 remain at large. It does not give a breakdown showing to which groups the 68 belong.

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