Thursday, January 25, 2007

Breaking News: Violent Clashes in Beirut

For Updates! please refer to the Naharnet news website
Reader Updates! welcome & appreciated in Comments Section
Update (11:45 pm):
The streets of Beirut are quiet and calm after another day of deadly clashes and a military imposed night curfew. MP's, journalists, and bakers are exempt from the curfew due to end at 6:00 am local time. All schools and universities are shut until Monday.
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Update (10:55 pm):
No news agencies have reported on a small explosion in the southern coastal city of Saida as yet, so I urge readers to take the last update with a grain of salt.
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Update (9:55 pm):
Unconfirmed (repeat unconfirmed) reports indicate a small bomb went off (around 9:00 pm local time) in dumpster close to the Italian Consulate in Saida!
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Pictures of today's clashes by Abu Jaafar:


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Update (8:00 pm)
Naharnet reports:

Police sappers also defused a rocket that was directed at the Moustaqbal newspaper in Beirut, shortly before it was set to launch. "Luckily they discovered it. It would have resulted in a massacre. The newspaper is packed by journalists at this time of the evening," Editor Nassir al-Assad told Naharnet by telephone.

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Update/Roundup by Wissam (7:30 pm Beirut time):
Moments ago a curfew was declared in Beirut in order to curb the violence.
This announcement is a result of the newest clashes between opposition and government supporters which erupted at the Beirut Arab University. Members of the rivaling Amal (anti-government) and Future (pro-government) parties managed to smuggle weapons with them on campus and subsequent provocations resulted in the two groups clashing. Those clashes spread out to the Tarik Jadideh and Cola neighbourhoods where mostly Amal and Future supporters clashed, armed with sticks, stones and firearms. Repeated gunfire has been heard coming out of those neighbourhoods and camera teams are unable to reach those areas as the roads are closed down.
Other universities, such as the Lebanese International University and the Business & Computer University College were forced to close down as their students unilaterally shut down the respective campuses.
The cars in the parking lot belonging to the International Stadium (i.e. Madiinet el Riaydieh) were reported to be ablaze. So far, 4 deaths have been reported and a myriad of wounded
It is interesting to note, according to eyewitness accounts, that the troublemakers do not engage in skirmishes in their own neighbourhoods. For example a Shia from Barbour (a mixed Shia-Sunni neighborhood) would go to Tarik Jadideh (a mostly Sunni area) to look for trouble and vice versa. I guess they do put some stake in their property values! So far, 5 deaths have been reported and a myriad of wounded have been reported.
There have been several snipers reported along the rooftops on the Tarik Jedideh and Cola areas. Moreover, many independent checkpoints belonging to unidentified militias are popping up along the peripheries of the disputed areas.

40 comments:

  1. I am hearing first-hand reports of Amal supporters making some trouble in Da7ye. They are throwing stones at people and smashing cars in parkings. The army is trying to control them, but they are a bit outnumbered at the moment. Reports of up to 5 people dead?!

    On a more positive note, I also heard that Hezbollah was not letting the Shia in the uni leave so they wouldn't cause any trouble.

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  2. more news5:35 PM

    people seem to be taking to the streets around naameh south of dahyeh

    5 deaths is being reported

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  3. news^25:40 PM

    What makes more sense is that those people brewing trouble in Da7ye are not Amal, they are probably not Shia actually since they are burning the cars and throwing stones in a Shia neighbourhood. God knows what or who they are but they are trying to cause some serious trouble outside the uni as well...

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  4. Bad news5:44 PM

    It also sounds like some Shia are currently preparing themselves to counter-attack these people and passing the word to everyone... Let's hope the army can block a fight.

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  5. Anonymous6:10 PM

    rumors of road blocks and 'citizen check points' in areas surrounding dahyieh to prevent hizballah and amal supporters from 'counter-attacking'

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  6. Anonymous6:16 PM

    ok first it happened in cola not dahieh
    second the whole thing started in beirut arab uni when people from the opposition and poeple for tayyar l mosta2bal had a fight.
    a guy from 7araket amal died.
    after a while a shiit girl was hit by a sunnit ...of course she hit him back..everyone fought with everyone..
    20 minutes later around 50 guys wearing helmets and well prepared to fight arrived to the area pushing the army men ...yelling at people on the balconies to go inside (throwing stones at everyone) and then smashing all the cars..
    in the university no one was allowed to go out or in..7ezeb alla's security gathered all the shia in uni and surrounded them,to prevent them from going to the fight,,then brought big cars and helped all the girls leave the uni..
    meanwhile , outside, the frustrated guys broke into a parking and burnt around 5 cars...of course they outnumbered the army men so no one could stop them...not to forget that our army has men from all religions and parties..so they have to stay calm.
    they kept on fighting, smashing burning, for hours..the fight expanded to other places like mar elias and salim slem and nouwayreh,,,after a short break around 20 guys came back to the parking and burnt like 2 busses and a pick up..the army was shooting in the air and some armed people were shooting in return but it s not clear who they were or where they were shooting from
    it s no sure that they are in the opposition (poeple shooting) bcos they are not allowed to...they only threw stones

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  7. Anonymous6:22 PM

    more reports of unidentified checkpoints along airport road

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  8. Anonymous6:28 PM

    Mustaqbal (Future Movement) leader Saad Hariri, Amal leader Nabih Berri, and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, call on their followers to stop fighting and get off the streets!

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  9. Al Jazeera: few or more wounded soldiers
    Al Jazeera: Things are calmer at BAU.
    Al Jazeera: PSP sniper caught

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  10. According to New TV and Al Jazeera, shooters spotted on top of buildings.
    NBN: 4 dead, 2 from opposition, two from pro-gov.

    Haret el Naameh is closed, and also reports of non-ISF/Army checkpoints asking for IDs(not sure where this is from).

    One of the dead students shot in the head.

    It would seem that things are calmer now.

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  11. from FPM to you7:03 PM

    Hassan Nasrallah and Saad Hariri are due to give speeches on their respective television stations any minute now.

    Pictures emerging of bullet ridden bodies :(

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  12. from fpm to you7:09 PM

    Nabih Berri appeared on his tv station NBN and also adressed the lebanese asking them to unite and stressing on that we (the lebanese) have no fate but to live together and "7iwar" and not what intenal war...he also said we must have learned since 1860 until now that the war is not a solution.

    Nasrallah is speaking now on Al Manar

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  13. from fpm to you7:15 PM

    Nasrallah speech broadcast on all Lebanese TV stations

    Nasrallah: "it's a national, religious and moral duty to get off the streets"

    Nasrallah: "we had info about snipers and the justice deprtm should tell us who they are exactly"

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  14. Curfew in Beirut! Army orders residents to stay off the streets from 8:30 pm to 6:00 am!!

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  15. from fpm to you7:27 PM

    Saad Hariri speaking live on TV

    SSNP offices on fire! (unconfirmed)

    Universities announce closures tomorrow - exams postponed.

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  16. Anonymous7:45 PM

    Saad Hariri calls for restraints and asks his followers to obey Army orders.

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  17. SSNP office on fire, true... "Black" and "Blue" checkpoints

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  18. Anonymous7:48 PM

    burned ssnp office in tareeq jdeedeh

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  19. Anonymous7:51 PM

    Ansar soccer stadium in tareeq jdeedeh on fire! (unconfirmed)

    Al Arabiya: 2 armed militants arrested in naameh

    al jazeera: road to saida cut!

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  20. Naharnet: Hizbullah demonstrators attacked buildings in downtown Beirut’s banking sector!.

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  21. Walid Jumblat blames Bashar el Assad and tells Hasan Nasrallah to go to Damascus and tell Assad to end this fitneh.

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  22. Naharnet:

    Rafik Hariri International airport was functioning normally on Thursday despite a nighttime curfew.

    Education Minister Khaled Qabbani called for a suspension of classes at public and private universities and schools in Lebanon until Monday

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  23. Road to Saida cut by 'government' sponsored militias. www.tayyar.org

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  24. Can anyone confirm RoxieAmerica's report that Hezbollah supporters used the turmoil so they could have a free hand at robbing banks?

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  25. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Thats not exactly right. They smashed up the Banking District in Downtown Beirut, near where they are camped outside the PM's office.

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  26. Anonymous10:11 PM

    Reuters: Earlier today
    Attack by Shi'ite mob on a Sunni-run school in Beirut.

    Snipers on rooftops in Sunni area of capital.

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  27. It seems Naharnet has removed its claim that Hizbullah guys ransacked the banking district in downtown... is the story reported anywhere else?

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  28. Anonymous12:47 AM

    Downtown bank smashing was reported on al-arabiyya but was said to be quickly controlled by the army.

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  29. Anonymous1:33 AM

    it would really help if the tayyar website didn't put up fake pictures.

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  30. Anonymous1:34 AM

    and it would also be a big plus if people who like them don't put them on this blog.

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  31. intersting, so whats so fake about armed men in the streets when its clear to every news outlet that they were there???

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  32. Anonymous, nobody knows what you're talking about...

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  33. ...I was going to say pictures don't lie, commentaries do, but then I remembered "Reuters-gate" this summer so I guess I'll just forget about that comment.

    Anyway, I'm curious to find out what Anonymous is talking about...

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  34. englighten us Anonymous, are u talking about the knives and guns?

    Of course, they can be tampered with (Reuters gate though was only a blackening of grey smoke... and some Israeli press reports that reporters were throwing dolls and toys in the rubble and then taking pictures). Here this is different cuz these guys can get prosecuted once identified...

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  35. fubar3:13 AM

    Calm down everyone. Anon is mistaken. Follw the link below and look under "spread the news" to see what he is talking about. But you don't have the picture they are talking about. But they are using your pictures. Just a case of too quick on the mouth...

    Everyone, a deep breath...

    http://rampurple.com/blog/

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  36. January 26 8:09am, so far no news from Beirut... Hope the day remains quiet...

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  37. Let's hope it remains calm indeed. Your country really does not need any of what happened. Regardless of who is right or wrong between the gov and the opposition, no one should resort to violence to make its opinion heard. The most important thing in a demcracy is that things MUST be settled through due political process. I would lime to add on a more positive note that donnor countries pledged to lend or give to Lebanon a bit less than 6 billion dollars, which should be enough to avoid the public bankrupcy that was pending. If the opposition is not happy about the government policy, they should wait for the next elections and vote it out. Burning tires is just stupid and polluting. The oil slick from the Israeli bombing isnot gone yet... Is this really needed?

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  38. Thanks for the clarification Fubar.

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  39. Abu Jaafar

    Did you consider giving those pictures to the authorities? The guy in the last picture especially,is very clear and should be easy to arrest with a few inquiries from the intertal forces.

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  40. Well, I got all these pictures from the Tayyar website. So, I think they're certainly known to the authorities. I also heard that the authorities are asking for all footage from TV stations etc for investigations and that 100 or so people have been arrested.

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