maandag 18 februari 2008

Minstens 20 gewonden bij gevechten in Beiroet

Terwijl het Acht Uur Journaal donderdag nog optimistisch berichtte dat beide kampen genoeg hebben van het geweld en hun conflict vreedzaam willen oplossen, is het inmiddels tot onderlinge gevechten gekomen. Hopelijk is dit niet het begin van meer geweld.

West Beirut Clashes Wound at least 20 People Amidst Mounting Tension
At least 20 people were wounded in clashes between rival factions in Beirut overnight amidst mounting tension between the March 14 majority and the Hizbullah-led opposition.
The clashes broke out around 10 pm Saturday between supporters of Saad Hariri's Mustaqbal Movement and followers of Hizbullah and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri's AMAL movement in west Beirut's districts of Ras al-Nabaa, Bechara al-Khoury, Barbour, Nweiri and Tariq Jedideh.

The Mustaqbal newspaper, mouthpiece of the Hariri movement, accused officers of parliament police of attacking "citizens in Beirut's residential areas."

AMAL, in a statement, denied its partisans were involved in the clashes with clubs, Iron rods, metal chains and rocks.

The crackle of automatic fire could be heard in several Beirut districts overnight before army units and police patrols intervened to disengage the feuding groups.

The Mustaqbal newspaper accused an assailant identified as Ali Hassan of hurling an improvised incendiary bomb (Molotov Cocktail) at a residential apartment in Ras al-Nabaa district.

The report did not disclose further details.

The political affiliation of Hassan, who goes by the code-name of al-Irani, was not disclosed by the report.

Also it could not be determined if police and army patrols made any arrests during the clashes.

The Mustaqbal newspapers described the clashes as "premeditated aggression" that resulted in wounding 20 "citizens."

The army and police deployed elite units in the attempts to disengage the feuding factions and contain the escalating tension.

Hizbullah, on its part, denied reports that its office in Ras al-Nabaa was attacked by a Molotov Cocktail incendiary bomb.

Tension prevailed over west Beirut Sunday. Streets were deserted except for groups of young men gathered at corners or entrances to buildings as army and police patrols drove across the city.

Meanwhile, the daily an-Nahar said regional contacts were underway to facilitate the return of Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa to Beirut to resume his efforts aimed at facilitating the Arab initiative.

Premier Fouad Saniora held telephone discussions with Moussa, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal and the head of Saudi intelligence Prince Miqrin bin Abdul Aziz.

The contacts focused on future efforts to implement the Arab initiative.

A government source said the initiative would be re-activated in light of "new facts" based on the mass rally held Thursday to commemorate the third anniversary of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri assassination.

Moussa's media advisor Abul Alim al-Abiad confirmed that his boss would return to Beirut, but refused to set a schedule for renewing the secretary general's mission.

An-Nahar said Moussa would return to Beirut on Feb. 21, five days before a scheduled parliamentary session to elect a president.

Beirut, 17 Feb 08, 09:44 

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten