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US urges calm in Lebanon, army makes arrests after deadly violence

The United States urges an easing of tensions in Lebanon, as deadly violence in Beirut sparks fears of a return to sectarian strife.

“We join Lebanese authorities in their call for calm, their calls for a de-escalation of tensions,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price tells reporters.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, in a televised speech, also calls for calm.

“Weapons cannot return as a means of communication between Lebanese parties, because we all agreed to turn this dark page of our history,” he says in reference to the country’s 1975-1990 civil war.

He says political leaders are “heading towards a solution” out of the crisis.

The army says it has “raided a number of places looking for the shooters, and detained nine” people in total, including individuals from both sides. One of those arrested is of Syrian nationality, it says.

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